Pussy Riot Sues Russia

2014-july-29-pussy-riot-lawsuit
Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Founders of Russian feminist protest group, Pussy Riot
Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Yahoo News, via Wikimedia Commons.

Vladimir Putin’s got a riot on his hands. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the two former members of the Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot who served 21-month sentences in prison following a 2012 performance at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, are suing Russia’s government, the BBC reports.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, who were kicked out of the group in February for allegedly losing sight of its principles, have filed a suit with the European Court of Human Rights claiming that their trial was essentially torture. They are seeking €120,000 (about $161,000) in damages each, plus another €10,000 (about $13,400) to cover legal costs.

“What can I say? Good girls! But, in my opinion, the requested amount is too small,” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s father Andrey told the BBC. “They should have requested €250 million euros, not €250,000.”

The pair first filed their complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in June 2012, in the midst of their trial. They alleged that the legal proceedings to which they were subjected were in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights, a convention signed by Russia. They were eventually convicted of hooliganism.

The February 2012 performance that sparked the trial took place at the Christ the Savior Cathedral, which is near the Kremlin, when five member of the collective stormed the altar and began performing their song “Mother of God, Drive Putin Out.” Three members were arrested, Alyokhina,Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich. The latter was released early.

Watch video of Pussy Riot’s performance at the Christ the Savior Cathedral:


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