The Straits Times
Published on Sep 20, 2012

Yoko Ono to give peace award to Pussy Riot


NEW YORK (AFP) - Yoko Ono, the artist and widow of Beatles musician and songwriter John Lennon, will bestow a peace award in the couple's name to Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rockers, in New York on Friday.

The biennial Lennon-Ono Grant for Peace will be given to Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of jailed Pussy Riot member Nadia Tolokonnikova, said the global rights group Amnesty International.

The peace award is to be shared between the Russian band and four others, including Rachel Corrie, the American activist crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah in 2003, and the late writer Christopher Hitchens.

Friday's ceremony comes 10 days before a legal appeal for the three Pussy Riot members who were sentenced to two years in jail for a performance against Russian President Vladimir Putin in an Orthodox cathedral.