Member of feminist rock group Pussy Riot sues former defense lawyer

[JURIST] A member of the controversial feminist rock collective Pussy Riot [RASPI backgrounder; JURIST news archive] filed a lawsuit Tuesday against her former defense lawyer. Group member Yekaterina Samutsevic accused [Izvestia Times report, in Russian] her former lawyer Violetta Volkova of making and posting defamatory statements about her in the press and on social networking sites during the trial of other Pussy Riot members. Sautsevich has demanded 2 million rubles (USD $60,750) in compensation for moral harm and damage to her reputation stemming from the incident. A preliminary court hearing is set for September 18.

The imprisonment of members of Pussy Riot has generated significant international attention. Last month a regional court in Russia on denied [JURIST report] an appeal by Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina. Alekhina had filed the appeal after a court denied her parole [JURIST report] in May. Alekhina and her fellow band mates, Samutsevic and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were sentenced [JURIST report] to two years in prison for "hooliganism" following the band's February 2012 performance of a protest song titled "Mother of God drive Putin away." The song was performed at a sacred Russian Orthodox Church, Christ the Savior Cathedral, in Moscow and the court held that the performance was driven by religious hatred. Samutsevich was released on probation [JURIST report] in October 2012 because police removed her from the Cathedral before she could actually participate in the performance, while Tolokonnikova was also denied parole in May.

 

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