Northern Ireland Supports Pussy Riot

Music stars unite at the Black Box in support of jailed Russian punk band Pussy Riot

Punks, rockers and folkies from across Northern Ireland are coming together to support imprisoned Russian punk protestors Pussy Riot.

An eclectic bunch of musicians and singers will be taking to the stage in Belfast's Black Box this Friday, September 7 for an Amnesty International gig in support of the jailed Moscow activists.

Joining the line are the energetic Katie and the Carnival, friendly punks the Blastproof Sunglasses, Derry~Londonderry rockers Wyldling, radical folkies Uke Belfast, plus very special guests.

Morgan MacIntyre, who will also be performing at the gig, said that, as a songwriter, 'I understand what it means to have the right to express yourself. It is devastating to see basic human rights skewed like this in the interests of those trying to hold on to power. As a woman, it is an honour to add my voice to all those around the world already speaking out for those who have been silenced.'

Nadezhda, Maria and Ekaterina, three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, were found guilty on August 17, 2012 on charges of 'hooliganism' and sentenced to two years in a penal colony. Amnesty International has designated them as prisoners of conscience, and is calling for their immediate release.

Amnesty International's Patrick Corrigan is delighted that the event has drawn such support from local performers: 'Pussy Riot's 'Punk Prayer' and anarchist lyrics might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the Russian authorities' enthusiasm to silence the women is a violation of their right to free speech.

'The gig in the Black Box has a cracking line-up and it's amazing that such a diverse range of music will be on stage in Belfast in support of the Moscow punks. What we can promise people is a wonderful night out, with a bit of campaigning and a lot of dancing.'

The benefit night for Amnesty International will champion the cases of the three imprisoned activists and give people in Belfast a chance to send a message to Moscow that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right.

Tickets are £5 and are available in advance from The Black Box or on the door. Doors open, 8pm.

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