Pussy Riot Sue Russian Government in European Human Rights Court

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina are suing the Russian government over their 2012 imprisonment.

According to the BBC, the women claim their trial and incarceration violated European Convention of Human Rights articles, ratified by Russia. The articles bar methods such as torture and "guarantee freedom of expression, security and liberty, and a fair trial."

They have filed a case at the European Court of Human Rights against Russia, seeking compensation. The pair are demanding 120,000 euros (£95,000) each in damages, plus 10,000 euros (£8,000) court costs. [...] The two Pussy Riot members opened their action at the ECHR in June 2012, while their own cases in Russia were still ongoing.

According to The Guardian, the human rights legal group Agora is representing the women.

"This is a case about freedom of expression and fair trial first of all,"Pavel Chikov, head of Agora, told The Guardian. "They want this case to set a precedent that Russians can speak publicly on sensitive political issues, even if this speech is not supported by majority."

In a 35-page response in June, the Russian government called the complaint "obviously unfounded", arguing that the glass cage is a practice used in other countries and that the imprisonment was a "side-effect" of its desire to protect Russian Orthodox worshippers' freedom of belief.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova said any money they win will go to other human rights as well as to Zona Prava, the group they founded to advocate for prison system reform.

Image via AP Images.