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Pussy Riot to appeal conviction at European Court of Human Rights

After they performed a pro-gay, anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral, two women were jailed in prison colonies and forced to live in harsh conditions
Maria Alekhina and Natalia Tolokonnikova are appealing their convictions in the European Court of Human Rights.

Lawyers for the jailed members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot have contested their convictions in the European Court of Human Rights.

The lawyers say the group’s conviction violates their freedom of speech, the right to liberty and security, the prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial.

Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Natalie Tolokonnikova were sentenced to two years in prison for performing a pro-gay, anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral for two years. Semutsevich was later released on appeal.

Convicted on charges of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’, the masked singers have drawn attention to Russia and their oppressive laws.

Earlier this month, Alekhina said she had suffered death threats and had stood up for prisoners who were not given another clothing to withstand Russia’s -30 degrees celcius temperature.

She is currently appealing her punishment for secretly passing on a letter for her lawyer to pass onto the European Court of Human rights.

Tolokonnikova has also complained of being overworked, and according to her husband has had to spend time in hospital.

When the three members of Pussy Riot were arrested last year for being the masked singers in a viral video, it caused an international outrage.

Stars such as Madonna voiced their support for the band, while Amnesty International condemned the trial as being 'politically motivated'.

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