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Adele, U2, Yoko Ono, 100+ Musicians Sign Amnesty Int’l Letter Urging Pussy Riot Release

image from www.unionchapel.org.ukAmnesty International has organized more than 100 top musicians to call for the release of the two jailed members of Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot ahead of their parole appeal hearing this week. One of the signatories to an open letter, Yoko Ono, says: “I thank Pussy Riot for standing firmly in their belief for Freedom of Expression, and making all women of the world proud to be women.” 

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL OPEN LETTER

Dear Masha and Nadia,

As the one-year anniversary of your trial approaches, we are writing to assure you that, 
around the world, people are both still thinking of you and working for your release.
Although you were the most visible of the protesters, we know that there were many other
young people who have suffered in the protests, about whom we are also very concerned.
But, in many ways, through your imprisonment, you have come to represent them.

Many artists voiced their concern when these charges were first brought against you, we 
had every hope that the authorities, in dealing with you, would show some understanding,
a sense of proportion, even some of the wonderful Russian sense of humour, but none of
the above were forthcoming.

The impact of your shockingly unjust trial and imprisonment has spread far and wide. 
Especially among your fellow artists, musicians and citizens around the world, including
the many parents who feel your anguish at being separated from your children. While
understanding the sensitivities of protesting in a place of worship, we ask that the Russian
authorities review these harsh sentences, so that you may return to your children, your
families and your lives.

The right to freedom of expression and dissent is a legitimate one and essential in any 
kind of democracy. You have been accused of what could be described as ‘a victimless’
crime, but in our opinion, in a just society, there can be no crime where there is no
identifiable ‘victim’.

Your strength, bravery and fearlessness are an inspiration to us all. 

Yours in solidarity,

Bryan Adams, Adele, Alt-J, Laurie Anderson, Animal Collective, Anti-Flag, Arcade Fire, Arch 
Enemy, Archive, Joan Armatrading, Joan Baez, Beardyman, Jeff Beck, Yasiin Bey, björk,
Rubén Blades, Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Peter Buck, Tracy Chapman, Chase & Status,
Neneh Cherry, The Clash, Coldplay, Lily Rose Cooper, Dido, Django Django, Melissa
Etheridge, Siobhan Fahey, Paloma Faith, First Aid Kit, Franz Ferdinand, Foster the People,
fun., Peter Gabriel, Sir Bob Geldof, Kim Gordon, Debbie Harry, PJ Harvey, Don Henley, The
Hidden Cameras, Niall Horan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Ke$ha, Angelique Kidjo, The Knife,
Mark Knopfler, Tom Lehrer, Sean Lennon, Annie Lennox, Lykke Li, Sir Paul McCartney,
Romy Madley-Croft, Madonna, Zayn Malik, Stephen Malkmus, Marina & the Diamonds,
Johnny Marr, Massive Attack, Mike Mills, Moby, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello, Alanis
Morissette, James Morrison, Graham Nash, Kate Nash, Youssou N’Dour, Karen O, Yoko
Ono, Clock Opera, Ozzy Osbourne, Liam Payne, Peaches, Joe Perry, Phoenix, Portishead,
Portugal. The Man, Rain Phoenix, Cat Power, Radiohead, Bonnie Raitt, Rise Against,
Patti Scialfa, Scissor Sisters, Paul Simon, Sleigh Bells, Patti Smith, Esperanza Spalding,
Bruce Springsteen, Dave Stewart, Sting, Michael Stipe, Harry Styles, Neil Tennant, Louis
Tomlinson, Pete Townshend, K T Tunstall, U2, Eddie Vedder

 

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