Pussy Riot duo to appear at U.S. Amnesty International concert

Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:21am IST

Members of Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina (L), speak to the media after leaving the inaugural Prudential Eye Awards in Singapore January 18, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Members of Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina (L), speak to the media after leaving the inaugural Prudential Eye Awards in Singapore January 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Edgar Su

REUTERS - Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who were jailed for nearly two years on charges of religious hatred and became international emblems for human rights campaigners will appear at a concert in New York, organizer Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will make their first trip to the United States since they were granted amnesty in December by Russian President Vladimir Putin, two months before they were set to be released.

Alyokhina, 25, and Tolokonnikova, 24, were convicted in 2012 of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after they stormed the altar of Moscow's biggest cathedral and beseeched the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin.

"A month ago we were freed from Russian prison camps," Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova said in a joint statement. "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 and we hope to see you all at the Amnesty International concert on February 5th in Brooklyn!"

It is not clear whether Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova will perform at the "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert featuring rock groups The Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragons and R&B singer Lauryn Hill.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova derided their early release last year as a propaganda stunt by Putin to improve Russia's image before it hosts the Winter Olympics in February.

Putin, who denies jailing people for political reasons, has said the amnesty would show that the Russian state is humane.

Tolokonnikova staged a hunger strike last year to draw attention to stark conditions and long hours of mandatory labor in the jail where she was held.

A third Pussy Riot member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed when a judge suspended her sentence on appeal.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Mary Milliken and Andrew Hay)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Literary Giant Dies

Literary Giant Dies

Mourning and memories in Garcia Marquez's languid hometown.  Full Article 

Film Festival

Film Festival

Sun, yachts and stars beckon visitors to Cannes.  Full Article 

Royal Tour

Royal Tour

Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit beach in Sydney.  Video 

On Trial

On Trial

Singer Chris Brown's assault trial delayed to next week.  Full Article 

Accused Of Rape

Accused Of Rape

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer accused of drugging, raping teen.  Full Article 

Legal Case

Legal Case

Rihanna settles multimillion-dollar lawsuit with ex-accountants.  Full Article 

Richest Rappers

Richest Rappers

The wealthiest rappers according to Forbes.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage