Second Annual Pussy Riot Solidarity Concert in Front of the Russian Embassy

Press Release
August 8, 2013

Second Annual Pussy Riot Solidarity Concert in Front of the Russian Embassy

Amnesty International to host punk bands on Friday, August 16

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @AIUSAmedia

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Amnesty International members, activists, rock fans and artists will show their support for Pussy Riot and Human Rights in Russia at the second annual punk protest beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 16 in front of the Russian Embassy. The concert will take place the day before the one year anniversary of Pussy Riot's sentencing and approximately six months out from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Pussy Riot band members Masha Alekhina, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Katya Samutsevich were sentenced to two years in penal colonies on August 17, 2012 for their performance of a "Punk Prayer" in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. While Katya was released on appeal, Nadya and Masha have been imprisoned for more than 16 months. In late July, Russian courts refused to grant parole to either of the two women. Amnesty International considers Masha and Nadya to be prisoners of conscience and is campaigning for their immediate release.

In the year after Pussy Riot's conviction and sentencing, the Russian government has clamped down even harder on free expression and assembly. Administrative and legal changes have curtailed almost all forms of public protest and, in the fallout of the Pussy Riot trial, Putin signed a law that allows up to three years of imprisonment for "public actions aimed at insulting religious feelings." LGBTI activists and their supporters also face legal persecution for public activism and expression and police inaction for homophobic attacks.

The Amnesty International concert will feature local D.C. rock bands and speakers from the human rights movement and Russian diaspora. Participants will show their support for the women of Pussy Riot, the LGBTI community and other Russians who have been denied their basic human rights to freedom of expression by wearing balaclavas and holding a variety of visuals.

TIME:                6 - 9 p.m. on Friday, August 16
LOCATION:       In front of the Russian Embassy (Corner of                          Wisconsin Ave & Edmunds St. Northwest)
PERFORMERS: Jail Solidarity & Soft Punch; additional bands TBA

Join the event on Facebook, and take action to free Pussy Riot!

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.