Judgment concerning the Russian Federation

Human Rights building

In the case of Verzilov and Others v. Russia, the Court held that there had been violations of the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment/lack of effective investigation and of the freedom of expression.

The case concerned the Pussy Riot punk band’s complaint that they had been attacked by Cossacks while performing a new song in Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Cossacks, who are financed and closely controlled by the State when involved in maintaining public order, had been assisting the police during the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Court found that the State had been responsible for the Cossacks’ use of force, which had not been justified in any way and which had prevented the band from performing their protest song and from peacefully exercising their freedom of expression.

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