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Pussy Riot to Receive John Lennon Memorial Peace Grant

Pussy Riot
Nathan Cox, Getty Images

The members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot have had quite a year, enduring trial and imprisonment for their outspoken criticism of their country’s current political regime — but they’re about to receive a little extra money for their trouble.

The cash infusion comes courtesy of the Lennonono Grant for Peace, a biennial award administered by Yoko Ono on behalf of the John Lennon estate. This year, the grant is going out to five recipients, including two — peace activist Rachel Corrie and author Christopher Hitchens — who are receiving it posthumously.

The grants will technically be awarded on Oct. 9 in a ceremony timed to coincide with what would have been Lennon’s 72nd birthday, but as the NME reports, Pussy Riot’s award is being disbursed early, on Sept. 21. With the assistance of Amnesty International, it’ll be given “in the hope that [band members] will be released [from prison] as soon as possible.”

As was reported earlier in the summer, three members of Pussy Riot are serving a two-year prison sentence for what the Russian government has termed “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” and other members of the band have fled the country to avoid imprisonment.

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