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Pussy Riot Members To VIsit Brooklyn

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Two of the women who were recently freed from a Russian prison after being jailed for “acts of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” will visit Brooklyn on February 5 for a human rights benefit concert.

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were arrested in 2012 after performing an anti-Putin concert inside a cathedral in Moscow and subsequently started a world-wide conversation about the state of rights in Russia. Now, the women say they want to help the people who are still jailed after enduring the harsh conditions of the country’s prisons and even attempted to stay longer than their reduced sentence in order to research the conditions faced by inmates. The women have criticized their sudden release as a ploy by Russian officials to shine up Putin’s image right before the winter Olympics in Sochi.

“A month ago we were freed from Russian prison camps. We will never forget what it’s like to be in prison after a political conviction. We have vowed to continue helping those who remain behind bars,” they said in a statement.

The benefit concert will be held at the Barclays Center in collaboration with Amnesty International and will feature performances by The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, and Imagine Dragons, among others. The goal of the benefit is to raise awareness about political prisoners around the world who have chosen to share their beliefs in a non-violent way and have been punished for it.

“We are happy to support Amnesty International’s work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners,” Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina said in a statement. “We, more than anyone, understand how important Amnesty’s work is in connecting activists to prisoners.”

“Today, as we work to improve human rights conditions in the United States, we can’t abandon the fight for the rights of imperiled individuals around the world,” said Amnesty International Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins. “When we come together on February 5 in Brooklyn, our voices will be amplified by the presence of Pussy Riot, who continue to demonstrate the power we share when we take a stand against injustice. Join us next month and become a part of the next wave of the human rights movement.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Pussy Riot Members To VIsit Brooklyn
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