The previously unknown Morality Coalition sent the Parliament a letter protesting the nomination of the imprisoned punk rock group for the For Freedom of Thought Award, also known as the Sakharov Prize, RIA Novosti reported. A human rights activist in Belarus and imprisoned dissidents in Rwanda and Iran are also candidates for the award.
"We would like to note that the Pussy Riot members received two-year prison sentences not over freedom-of-thought issues but for attempting to organize a provocation in the Christ the Savior Cathedral that offended believers," the coalition said.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich were convicted in August and sentenced to two years in prison for a demonstration in February outside the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
The coalition also accused the Parliament of having a double standard, honoring works that offend Christians while denouncing the anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims."