MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – In their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) members of the punk group Pussy Riot demanded €250, 000 ($335,000) from Russia in damages, business daily Vedomosti reported Monday, citing the text of the statement.
Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova are seeking to recover €250, 000 (approx. $335, 000) from Russia, specifically €120,000 each (approx. $161, 000) in damages and a total of €10,000 (approx. $13, 000) in legal fees.
Appealing to the Strasbourg court, the defense of the punk group participants asked to plead the Russian authorities guilty of violating the right to freedom of expression, the right to liberty and protection against unreasonable search and seizure, the prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial (Articles 10, 5, 3 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights).
According to the publication, a source in the Russian Justice Ministry called the requested compensation "unreal," as such damages are highly uncommon in similar ECHR rulings.
In February 2012, five members of the group staged a so-called "punk prayer" in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. A video of the performance went viral on the Internet, causing a massive public outcry.
Three of the group members – Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich – were arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism. In October 2012, the punishment for Samutsevich was changed to conditional. In December Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were granted amnesty by President Vladimir Putin in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Russian Constitution.
In response to their appeal, in May 2013 the Moscow City Court upheld the verdict of the performance's participants, sentencing them to two years in prison for hooliganism.