Russian government ordered to pay Pussy Riot £44,500 compensation for ‘Punk Prayer’ arrest conditions

Three members of the activist band were arrested in 2012 after they performed a protest in a cathedral in Moscow

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Russian government must pay Pussy Riot just under €50,000 (£44,586) in compensation after their 2012 arrest.

Three members of the controversial activist band were arrested after performing a ‘Punk Prayer’ in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. They were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” However, the performance was not connected to religion, but instead protested Vladimir Putin’s plans to run for a third term as Russia’s President.

Now, it has been decided Russia violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, including “the overcrowded conditions of the band members’ transportation to and from the courtroom to attend hearings on their cases and because they had to suffer the humiliation of being permanently exposed in a glass dock during their hearings, surrounded by armed police officers and a guard dog, despite no evident security risk,” according to a press release.

The ECHR added that imprisoning Nadya Tolokonnikova, Masha Alyokina, and Katya Samutsevich for “simply having worn brightly coloured clothes, waved their arms and kicked their legs around and used strong language, without analyzing the lyrics of their song or the context of their performance, was exceptionally severe.”

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova filed a complaint with the ECHR in July 2014, seeking compensation of over €250,000 (£230,000) in compensation. Pussy Riot celebrated the news on their official Twitter page, writing: “We won the case against our government in the european court of human rights!!”

There has been no word from the Russian government at present as to whether they plan to appeal the ruling. As Billboard reports, there were reports that the country was considering withdrawing from the human rights convention.

Four other members of Pussy Riot were arrested on Sunday (July 15), after they invaded the pitch during the World Cup final between France and Croatia. They were sentenced to 15 days in prison and banned from sporting events for three years.