Pussy Riot - Convicted Russian Rockers Appeal Over Jail Sentences

Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot have appealed over their jail sentences on hooliganism charges.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were put on trial after performing a protest song against President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral last February (12).

They were found guilty of hooliganism and jailed for two years in August (12). Samutsevich was later freed on appeal, but the remaining two are serving out their sentences at remote labour camps in the former Soviet Union.

However, all three stars have now appealed to the European Court of Human Rights over their sentences.

Lawyer Pavel Chikov claimed their right to freedom of speech, a fair trial and liberty had been violated and also alleged they were treated in an inhumane way in custody, according to Reuters.

He says, "I think they will be released from prison before the tribunal ruling. But the European Court is not the key mechanism to seek their prompt release. It is important to bring in justice, declare them not guilty and, eventually, acquit them."

The band hit the headlines again last week (ends03Feb13) after it was revealed Tolokonnikova had been hospitalised after reportedly suffering from overwork and ongoing headaches.


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