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Pussy Riot: Application to the European Court of Human Rights, Transfer to Prison, and “Companion-in-Arms” Award

22 October 2012 


Source:HRO.org(info)
Grani.ru reports, citing the newspaper Kommersant, that Ekaterina Samutsevich has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. Her lawyer Irina Khrunova has made an application concerning unlawful criminal prosecution, unjustified detention and violation of the right to free speech. The application also states that the European Convention’s prohibition on torture was violated during the trial hearings. Lawyers defending other Pussy Riot members announced they are also preparing appeals to the European Court. 

Defendants have the right to take their case to Strasbourg once an appeal court has ruled in their case. The initial application, on behalf of Samutsevich, has now been submitted to the European Court. After examining the application, the Court assigns a number to the case and requests a full scale formal appeal. After this, the applicant is under the protection of the European Court, which will defend them against any outside pressure, notes the lawyer.

In mid-June Pussy Riot’s lawyers made an earlier application to the European Court about the illegal detention of the music group’s members. An answer was received 9 July. “Our case has been assigned a number. Before 17 August we will submit a complete application with the necessary documents, which will be examined according to the rules set out in Articles 40 and 41 as a priority matter for the Court," lawyer Violetta Volkova reported at the time. 

According to the Izvestia newspaper, the attorneys were divided over Ekaterina Samutsevich's application to the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Samutsevich should have reached an agreement with the other members of Pussy Riot about her application. At present, we have made one joint application, and this application has been given a number by the Court. Because of the actions of Samutsevich the situation of Tolokonnikova and Alekhina may be made more difficultt,’ said Mark Feygin.

At the same time, Irina Khrunova is certain that “it is not important whether Ekaterina Samutsevich appealed separately or not”.

‘The European Court of Human Rights will combine them. If several appeals from different individuals are made regarding the same case, then the court will unite them into one legal procedure,’ added Samutsevish’s lawyer. 

On October 2 the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe passed a strong resolution on the situation in Russia. In particular the resolution demanded that the case of Pussy Riot be reconsidered 

The Rosbalt news agency reports that the members of Pussy Riot have been awarded the annual “Companion-in-Arms” prize, given annually in the sphere of contemporary art. Ekaterina Samutsevich was presented the award at a ceremony on October 21 in the Masterskaya club. 

The Prize’s Facebook page announced that the 19 members of the jury, consisting only of artists, voted for Ekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. 

The “Companion-in-Arms” award was founded in 2006 by art curator Olga Lopukhova and artist Anton Litvin. The award is considered one of most prestigious in the sphere of contemporary art in Russia because it is awarded by professionals.

Earlier it had been announced that Pussy Riot had been included in a list of the most influential people in the arts by the periodical ArtReview. The group was placed 57th in the list, published on the periodical’s official website.

Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, sentenced to two years in prison for their “punk prayer” in the Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow, have been transferred to penal colonies in Perm region and Mordovia respectively, Gazeta.ru reports, citing Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s husband Peter Verzilov, who had received this information from the administration of Moscow’s pre-trial detention centre No. 6.
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