Senator Leyden is the Deputy Leader of the Irish delegation to the Council of Europe and he welcomed the decision of the Council.
“In a democracy, the right to freedom of expression may be subject to conditions intended to protect morals and the rights of others,” said Senator Leyden.
“Any penalties imposed must be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence. The two-year sentence imposed on the three members of the ‘Pussy Riot’ group is hugely disproportionate and we are calling on them to be immediately released.
“I hope that the Russian courts will review this conviction, taking into account the standards set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.
“To be considered a truly democratic nation, which adheres to the basics of human rights, the Russian courts must review this decision and release the activists, whose punishment did not fit the crimes they are alleged to have committed.