Pussy Riot members appeal conviction for anti-Putin protest to European Court of Human Rights

FILE - In this Monday Oct. 1, 2012 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. Lawyers for three members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot are contesting their conviction in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The complaint filed Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, alleges the group’s conviction violates four articles of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing freedom of speech, the right to liberty and security, the prohibition of torture, and the right to a fair trial. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, file)

MOSCOW - Lawyers for three members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot are contesting their convictions in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Natalia Tolokonnikova were sentenced to two years in prison for their irreverent "punk prayer" in Moscow's main cathedral last February against Vladimir Putin's return to Russian presidency. Samutsevich was later released on appeal.

The complaint filed Wednesday alleges the group's conviction violates four articles of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing freedom of speech, the right to liberty and security, the prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial.

The conviction on charges of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" has sparked global outrage, drawing attention to Russia's intolerance of dissent under Putin.


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