Amnesty International Holds 2nd Annual Pussy Riot Solidarity Concert Friday

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    AP
    Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Wednesday. Oct. 10, 2012. Three members of the punk band Pussy Riot are set to make their case before a Russian appeals court that they should not be imprisoned for their irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin. Their impromptu performance inside Moscow's main cathedral in February came shortly before Putin was elected to a third term. The three women were convicted in August of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in prison. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

    Amnesty International is holding its second annual Pussy Riot Solidarity Concert in front of the Russian Embassy on Friday.

    Local D.C. rock bands, including Jail Solidarity and Soft Punch, will play at the embassy (Wisconsin Avenue and Edmunds Street NW) from 6 to 9 p.m. to protest the imprisonment of two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

    The protest will also feature 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,” said Amnesty International in a press release.

    The concert is being held the day before the first anniversary of Pussy Riot’s sentencing. Band members Masha Alekhina, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Katya Samutsevich were sentenced to two years in prison for their performance of “Punk Prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.

    Samutsevich was released on appeal, but Tolokonnikova or Alekhina have been incarcerated for 16 months. A Russian court recently refused to grant their parole.

    In the wake of the Pussy Riot incident, Russian President Vladamir Putin has signed a law that could mean up to three years in prison for, according to the Amnesty International press release, “public support of actions aimed at insulting religious feelings.”

    Russia has also recently cracked down on LGBT support and activism. Its anti-gay stance has caused some countries -- including the U.S. -- to consider boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    For more information on the Pussy Riot Solidarity Concert, check out its Facebook event page. Those involved in the cause are asking concerned individuals to send a letter to Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika through Amnesty International.