Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina Sue Russian Government

Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina Sue Russian Government
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, the members of the activist punk group Pussy Riot, have had no shortage of struggles with the Russian government. Though they were freed last year, the two have since been arrested in Sochi, whipped by security officials, arrested again and attacked with paint. All of this followed their initial prison stay, which started in 2012. As could be expected, the women have filed a lawsuit against the Russian government.

According to the Guardian, the two women filed a lawsuit against the government in the European Court of Human Rights. They chose this court because they believe they didn't receive a fair trial in Russia.

After serving 21 months in prison, they're each seeking €120,000 (approximately $175,000 CDN) for compensation, plus an additional €10,000 (approximately $15,000 CDN) in legal fees.

In the suit, both Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina claim that the investigation and prosecution they experienced were violations of their human rights and amounted to torture. They're being represented by Pavel Chikov, head of the human rights group Agora.

"Plus they want this case to set a precedent that Russians can speak publicly on sensitive political issues, even if this speech is not supported by majority," Chekov told the Guardian. "This is a case about freedom of expression and fair trial first of all."

If Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina win this case, they hope to overturn their criminal conviction in Russia. Further, they've reportedly pledged to give any compensation from the lawsuit to human rights organizations.