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Pussy Riot gets support from Yoko Ono and Amnesty International

October 01, 2012|By Reed Johnson
  • Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in a glass cage at a courtroom in Moscow.
Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda… (Mikhail Metzel / Associated…)

Pussy Riot is getting more props.

Yoko Ono, with the backing of the human rights group Amnesty International, said Monday that the LennonOno Grant for Peace is being awarded to the beleaguered female Russian punk band whose members received jail terms for staging a public protest against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow cathedral earlier this year.

Even as Pussy Riot submits to the tender mercies of the Russian judicial system, international pressure continues to build to secure the group's release. The award from John Lennon's widow coincides with the European Parliament nominating Pussy Riot for the Sakharov Prize, named for the Soviet-era scientist/dissident Andrei Sakharov.

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In yet another show of artistic solidarity, the New York band Men, composed of JD Samson, Michael O'Neill and a collective of collaborators, has released a video for the song "Let Them Out Or Let Me In" written in support of Pussy Riot. 

Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for the group's members to be freed, although that could be a political ploy to draw fire away from the Russian regime, which has been dealing with mass street protests.

In a Russian court today, the group's appeal against their prison sentences was postponed until Oct. 10 after one of the band's members fired her lawyers.

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Follow me on Twitter: @RJohnsonLAT

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