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Pussy Riot to appear at star-studded Amnesty concert in New York

Published on Feb 6, 2014 5:56 AM
 
Maria Alyokhina (second right) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (right) of Pussy Riot appear at a news conference with Steven Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International, and Amnesty International USA chair of the board of directors Ann Burroughs in New York on Feb 4, 2014. Pussy Riot will join Madonna, R&B singer Lauryn Hill and alternative rock group Imagine Dragons at an all-star concert for Amnesty International on Wednesday night, on the eve the Winter Olympics opening in Sochi, Russia. -- PHOTO: AFP  

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The Russian punk band Pussy Riot will join Madonna, R&B singer Lauryn Hill and alternative rock group Imagine Dragons at an all-star concert for Amnesty International on Wednesday night, on the eve the Winter Olympics opening in Sochi, Russia.

Russia has come under pressure by human rights activists in the months leading up to the games for its intolerance of political dissent and homosexuality.

"With billions of eyes focused on the Olympics, it's one of those rare moments where you can shine a bright light on discrimination," said Brian Ellner, a founding board member of the gay rights group Athlete Ally.

The case of Pussy Riot, in particular, has sparked a global outcry. In 2012, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alyokhina, 25, were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after storming Moscow's biggest Orthodox cathedral and beseeching the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of President Vladimir Putin.

 
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