2012-08-13 15:23:00

Painter Loskutov fined for "icons" in support of Pussy Riot hopes to get support in Strasbourg

Moscow, August 13, Interfax - Artyom Loskutov, the creator of images of the Pussy Riot activists styled as icons, which were put up in the streets of Novosibirsk, intends to seek protection of his rights in the Strasbourg court. His cassation appeal has recently been rejected by a district court.

"Artyom Loskutov has started working on a claim that will be filed with the European Court of Human Rights with assistance with lawyers from the interregional human rights association Agora. He alleges that Russia has violated his right to a fair trial and freedom of expression," the Agora press service said in a report obtained by Interfax on Monday.

Loskutov earlier told Interfax that Novosibirsk Central District Court had declined his claim contesting the decisions made by two magistrate, which ordered him to pay fines of 1,000 rubles for placing the "icons" in the streets of Novosibirsk.

The "icons," images of a woman in a red coat and a purple scarf holding a baby girl with braids in her hands and the words "SVBD PSRT" (which stands for "Free Pussy Riot") appeared on billboards in some districts of Novosibirsk in March. The "icons" used the image of Our Lady called "Sign," which is very respected by Orthodox Christians, but the woman's face was covered with a stocking with holes for the eyes.

The Novosibirsk Diocese regarded the appearance of the images as hooliganism and asked law enforcement agencies to conduct an investigation. A probe was conducted, but no criminal case on the basis of the article dealing with hooliganism was opened.

In May, two magistrates fined Loskutov a total of 1,000 rubles. Another magistrate acquitted the painter, saying his guilt was not proven.

The Moscow Khamovnichesky Court will give its decision on the Pussy Riot case on August 17. The prosecutor is seeking three years in a penal colony for each woman.