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Russian Activists' Killers File European Suit Over Trial, Jail Conditions

Convicted killers Yevgeniya Khasis (left) and Nikita Tikhonov during their sentencing in a courtroom in Moscow in May 2011.
A Russian couple convicted of killing journalist Stanislav Markelov and reporter Anastasia Baburova have filed cases with the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Markelov and Baburova were shot dead on a downtown Moscow street in January 2009.

Markelov was a frequent defender of people from the Caucasus whom he believed had been persecuted because of their nationality. Barburova was a young journalist for "Novaya gazeta" who frequently covered stories on extremism. Both were involved in the ongoing case of Russian Army officer Yury Budanov, who spent time in prison for the rape and murder of a young Chechen woman and was released from jail four days before the killings.

READ: Murder victim Anastasia Baburova's parents talk about their daughter's efforts to combat nationalist extremism and fascism in Russia

In May, 2011, two members of an ultranationalist group -- Nikita Tikhonov and his girlfriend Yevgeniya Khasis -- were found guilty of the murders and sentenced to life in prison and 18 years in jail, respectively.

Both pleaded not guilty.

Their lawyer, Dmitry Agranovsky, told journalists that in their complaints with the court in Strasbourg, his clients were demanding over 1 million euros ($1.3 million) in compensation from the Russian government for "its failure to provide decent imprisonment conditions and a fair trial."

With Itar-Tass and Interfax reporting