Russia must compensate Pussy Riot

The jail sentences handed down to members of the activist group Pussy Riot after they criticised Putin in their "punk prayer" at a church in Moscow contravene human rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has ruled, and ordered Russia to pay the women compensation. Commentators take stock of the ruling.

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Right to a fair trial upheld

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung welcomes the European Court of Human Rights' ruling:

“It quite rightly underlines the fact that Pussy Riot did not try to incite violence or hatred. Plus: Russia humiliated the activists during the proceedings. A state reveals its true nature in the way it deals with the right to a fair trial, or in other words how it deals with its opponents. Imprisonment without adequate grounds and preventing contact with defence lawyers are indications of politicised proceedings. The judgement against Russia in the case of murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya also fits in with this pattern. There are fundamental deficits regarding the rule of law.”

Echo of Moscow (RU) /

Pussy Riot comes at right time for Kremlin

It would only be fair for Pussy Riot to receive reasonable compensation but there's no chance of that, writes Anton Orech in Echo of Moscow:

“These proceedings have opened the floodgates of mental darkness in Russia and created a category of citizens with special feelings: the believers. Now all you have to do is produce some confused individual whose sick little soul makes them weep and demand that such people be severely punished - and hey presto, that's exactly what happens. If the Pussy Riot case hadn't existed, the authorities would have had to invent it. The state has gained so much from it that it should stop making such a fuss and simply pay the girls the 37,000 euros. ... But as far as I know, our Constitutional Court has decided that it can thumb its nose at the ECHR's decision.”