Constitutional Court dismisses Tolokonnikova's claim over hooliganism charges
ST. PETERSBURG, October 22 (RAPSI) - Russia's Constitutional Court has dismissed an application filed by Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova seeking to revise an article of the Criminal Code on hooliganism, a charge for which she was sentenced in 2012, reads a statement published on the court’s website on Wednesday.
Tolokonnikova alleged that the article “restricts freedom of opinion and expression, allows a violation of religious tradition to be considered public disorder, allows to qualify actions as an offense based on their perception as unacceptable by the majority of people.”
The court held that Tolokonnikova's rights were not violated.
The article of the Criminal Code in question does not contain any ambiguity that would prevent an individual from recognizing his or her actions as unlawful, according to the statement.
The court held that behaviour constitutes a breach of "legal limits of freedom of expression" in cases when such behaviour negligently contradicts the norms which apply in a society and such behaviour is considered to be unacceptable and even abusive.
In February 2012, five young women wearing balaklavas performed a so-called punk prayer at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. The video with the performance was posted online and received a huge public response. The police detained all three members of the band who were charged with hooliganism.
Moscow's Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced in August Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich to two years in prison. On October 10, the Moscow City Court suspended Samutsevich’s sentence. In December 2013, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were pardoned under the amnesty dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.