Pussy Riot sued by Siberians for ‘moral suffering’

 

Moscow

So offended by watching a YouTube clip that they need financial compensation – that is the claim from a group of Siberians suing the Russian punk trio Pussy Riot for psychological distress.

In the latest twist in the case of the three women, jailed last week for two years for their "punk prayer" in Moscow's main cathedral, a wave of civil cases is being brought against them by a law firm that says it is inspired by the gospel.

"We are talking about moral suffering which causes physical pain," claimed the lawyer Alexei Krestyanov, who is representing Irina Ruzankina and two other women who say they saw the clip on the internet and were harmed by it. "She suffered because this punk group performed their punk prayer in a place where they should not have, in a place where she worships and that she considers sacred."

Ms Ruzankina is asking for 30,000 roubles (£600) compensation, and Mr Krestyanov said that he plans to launch 12 lawsuits against the band, to represent the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. Lawyers for Pussy Riot have called the lawsuits "idiotic" and insist that they have little chance of succeeding.

Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich danced in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral for about 40 seconds in February, and later lyrics were dubbed over the footage calling on the Virgin Mary to "chase out Putin". They said that the stunt was a protest against the Orthodox Church's backing of President Vladimir Putin. The women were jailed for two years after the judge found them guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and threw out the defence claim that the act was a political protest. The verdict was met with international outcry.

Much of the case was based on the offence supposedly caused to those who appeared in court as "victims", with church security and worshippers claiming they were so shocked by seeing the bright outfits and unorthodox dance moves of the women that they had health problems, or were so distraught that they were unable to count their change properly when making purchases.

One of the "victims" had his evidence annulled by the court, as he had only viewed the proceedings on YouTube rather than seen the performance in real life. Those behind the new civil lawsuit were also not present at the time of the performance.

Yesterday also saw the trial of former chess world champion Garry Kasparov who was arrested outside the courtroom protesting against the Pussy Riot verdict. He is likely to receive a fine, but may face a further case over allegations that he bit a police officer during the struggle.

Suggested Topics
News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
film
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Agricultural Solicitor - East Midlands

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EAST MIDLANDS MARKET TOWN - A new and exciting...

English Teacher Thetford Secondary

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: An Academy based in Thetfor...

Secondary Teacher Great Yarmouth

£115 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad are currently work...

Teaching Assistant to work with Autistic students

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes