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Pussy Riot members to appear at Amnesty International's Human Rights Concert

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina of the Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot, will be participating in Amnesty International's Bringing Human Rights Home concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on February 5.

"We are happy to support Amnesty International's work on behalf of human rights and political prisoners," said the two members of the group. "We, more than anyone, understand how important Amnesty's work is in connecting activists to prisoners."

"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 and we hope to see you all at the Amnesty International concert on February 5th in Brooklyn!"

Three members of the collective were sentenced to a two-year jail term for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred," after singing a protest song that criticized Vladimir Putin in the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.

While one of the members, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on appeal in October 2012, the other two spent 16 months in prison and were released last December after an amnesty bill was announced by Putin.

The amnesty was widely considered a publicity stunt or as ‘cosmetic measure’ to bolster the Russian government's image before hosting the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are now working to improve conditions for prisoners after sampling firsthand the conditions in the IK-2 and IK-14 Russian penal colonies.

Amnesty International USA Board Chair Ann Burroughs, a former prisoner of conscience in South Africa, said, "I remember how student activism opened the eyes of the world to the injustices of apartheid in South Africa.”

“Pussy Riot's song of protest mobilized a new generation of activists to stand together in solidarity for freedom of expression. It is that power of music and solidarity that we are reigniting with the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert."

Also taking part in the Amnesty International concert will be: The Flaming Lips, Imagine Dragons, Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat, Cake and others that have yet to be announced.

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