Europe rights court criticizes Russia on Pussy Riot, Politkovskaya cases

Europe rights court criticizes Russia on Pussy Riot, Politkovskaya cases

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday criticized Russia over its treatment of three members of Pussy Riot and its handling of the investigation into the death of journalist Anna Politkovskaya [judgments].

The court found that Russia had violated five articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in its arrest and conviction of three members of the Pussy Riot [JURIST news archive] protest group in 2012. Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested after performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral and sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism. The court found that Russia violated their freedom of expression, denied them access to their lawyers, and subjected them to humiliating and overcrowded conditions. The court ordered Russia to pay 16,000 euros each to Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, and 5,000 euros to Samutsevich, as well as 11,760 euros for their legal expenses.

In a separate judgment, the court found that Russia violated Article 2 of the convention by failing to “take adequate investigatory steps” to determine who ordered the murder of Politkovskaya [JURIST news archive] in 2006. While five men were convicted [JURIST report] of her murder in 2014, it remains unclear who commissioned the killing. The court ordered the government to pay a total of 20,000 euros to members of Politkovskaya’s family.