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Madonna to Introduce Pussy Riot Members at Brooklyn Amnesty Benefit

'I have admired their courage,' the pop star said

January 29, 2014 12:15 PM ET
Madonna
Madonna
Jeff Vespa/WireImage

A little over a week after she helped Macklemore and Queen Latifah officiate Grammy marriages, Madonna will introduce the recently freed Pussy Riot members at Amnesty International's upcoming benefit in Brooklyn. The show takes place on February 5th at the Barclays Center and will feature performances from Imagine Dragons, the Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill and more.

Go Inside the Pussy Riot Trial

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were imprisoned in March 2012 after being convicted for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for Pussy Riot's staged protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin – at the Amnesty event, they will speak about "prisoners of conscience" – nonviolent people imprisoned for their beliefs.

"I am honored to introduce my fellow freedom fighters Masha and Nadya from Pussy Riot," said Madonna in a statement. "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 Interntaional has long used music to promote its advocacy initiatives. The organization says its 20-concert "Human Rights Now!" world tour in 1988, which featured Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and Sting, helped triple the movement's membership. The group recently released a six-disc DVD and two-disc CD box set from the historic Amnesty concerts  that took place from 1986-1998.

In other Madonna news, the singer joined Miley Cyrus for the young pop star's MTV Unplugged performance, which airs tonight. 

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