The singer Madonna will introduce two members of the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot at Amnesty International’s “Bringing Human Rights Home” concert in New York next month.
Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova - who were recently released from prison colonies in Russia after serving most of a two-year sentence - will address music fans at the concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on 5 February.
The concert will feature performances from the alternative rock band The Flaming Lips, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Cold War Kids, Imagine Dragons, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Colbie Caillat and Cake, with other guests still to be announced.
Madonna, who has previously spoken out about the jailing of Pussy Riot members, said: “I am honoured to introduce my fellow freedom fighters Masha and Nadya from Pussy Riot.
“I have admired their courage and have long supported their commitment and the sacrifices they have made in the name of freedom of expression and human rights.”
Amnesty’s “Bringing Human Rights Home” concert is a revival of a famous series of concerts begun over 25 years ago. Between 1986 and 1998, Amnesty held 28 concerts around the world with over 1.25 million attendees. The most high-profile component of the concert series was the six-week, five-continent, 20-concert “Human Rights Now!” world tour in 1988 - headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour. Those concerts helped triple Amnesty’s worldwide membership and mobilise a new generation of human rights activists.
For more information on the New York concert, see: www.amnestyusa.org/Feb5concert, and follow the hashtag #AmnestyConcert