Yoko Ono to give John Lennon peace award to Pussy Riot

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Yoko Ono is set to give the biennial Lennonono Grant For Peace to five different activists and campaigners, including the partially imprisoned Russian punk collective, Pussy Riot.

As well as Pussy Riot, the award will be presented posthumously to peace activist Rachel Corrie, who died in 2003, and to the late writer Christopher Hitchens. Author John Perkins will also receive the award, as well as a fifth, to-be-announced person.

The award ceremony will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland on October 9, which would have been John Lennon’s 72nd birthday. However, Pussy Riot’s grant will be given – with the backing of Amnesty International – on September 21 in New York “in the hope that they will be released as soon as possible”.

Three members of Pussy Riot have been jailed for the next two years. They received their sentences on August 17 after being found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. They were arrested in February after they staged a flashmob style performance at Moscow’s Church Of Christ The Saviour, protesting against the Orthodox Christian church’s support of president Vladimir Putin.

To read a full feature about John Lennon, with the likes of The Maccabees, Alex Turner and Miles Kane paying tribute to him, pick up this week’s issue of NME, which is on newsstands now or available digitally.

You can also watch a video which features the likes of Passion Pit, Enter Shikari and The Vaccines speaking about their love of John Lennon at the bottom of the page. READ MORE

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