Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot named as fourth recipient of the 2016 Free Expression Award

Pussy Riot

Nayda Tolokonnikova, member of Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot, a feminist punk rock protest group from Russia, will receive the Newseum’s 2016 Free Expression Award in the Arts and Entertainment category. The feminist punk rock protest group from Russia joins fellow 2016 award winners New York Times reporter James Risen (Free Press award), activist and photojournalist Boniface Mwangi (Free Speech award), and leading Islamic scholar Abdallah bin Bayyah (Religious Freedom award), all of whom will be honored at a special event April 19.

Pussy Riot will be recognized for its provocative performances and music videos, including a 2012 “Punk Prayer” demonstration during which five members of the group staged a guerrilla performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior to protest the church’s support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Group members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were convicted of hooliganism and served 21 months in prison for the protest. Tolokonnikova will accept the award via video during a special event to be held at the Newseum on April 19, 2016.

The Newseum Free Expression Awards honor those those who have taken personal or professional risks in sharing information with the public, are censored or punished by authorities or groups for their work, or show courage by pushing boundaries in artistic and media expression. The awards presentation and dinner event at the Newseum will be hosted by CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley. Tickets may be purchased at newseum.org/freeexpressionawards.

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