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Pussy Riot case lodged with top Europe court: lawyer

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Two jailed members of punk band Pussy Riot have taken their case to Europe's top rights court, arguing that their rights to freedom of speech and a fair trial have been violated, their lawyer said Thursday.

"A complaint has been sent to the European Court of Human Rights over violations of the European Convention on Human Rights by the court which delivered the verdict," defence lawyer Irina Khrunova told AFP.

The treatment of the young women during the trial amounted to torture, said Khrunova, who is representing Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina.

"People whose fate was being decided in court, who had to concentrate their attention on the proceedings, were kept without access to the bathroom, without water (and) hot food."

For the appeal, Khrunova has teamed up with Bulgarian lawyer Yonko Grozev whom she described as a "major specialist in European law."

Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were sentenced last August to two years in prison for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after they performed an anti-Vladimir Putin "punk prayer" in a Moscow cathedral.

Samutsevich was released on appeal with a suspended sentence in October because guards grabbed her before she could take part in the stunt performance.

Last year, Khrunova also filed a complaint to the same top court on Samutsevich's behalf over the women's arrest, the lack of a fair trial and inhuman treatment during the hearings.

Alyokhina is serving her prison sentence in the Perm region in the Urals, while Tolokonnikova was sent to the central region of Mordovia, known for its network of camps dating back to the Soviet era.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130207/pussy-riot-case-lodged-top-europe-court-lawyer