Yoko Ono to give peace award to Pussy Riot

September 21st, 2012 - 7:55 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Yoko Ono, widow of Beatles star John Lennon, will give a peace prize in the couple’s name to Russian female punk band Pussy Riot, Amnesty International said.

The biennal “LennonOno Grant For Peace” will be presented to Pyotr Verzilov, husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the three band members jailed after a controversial trial in August for a protest against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s largest church.

Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were sentenced to two years each after being found guilty of “hooliganism aimed at inciting religious hated”.

Friday’s awards ceremony in New York, backed by Amnesty International, comes just 10 days before the trio’s case comes up for appeal.

The band have also been nominated for the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize for freedom of thought, named after Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

The LennonOno award will also be given to four others, including US peace activist Rachel Corrie, and late writer Christopher Hitchens.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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