Madonna to introduce Pussy Riot members at concert

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Madonna Madonna said she admired what 'Nadya' (l) and 'Maria' had done "in the name of freedom of expression"

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Pop star Madonna will introduce two members of Russian protest punk rock act Pussy Riot at a concert promoting human rights in New York City.

The star said she was "honoured" to introduce "my fellow freedom fighters" Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the Amnesty event.

"I have admired their courage and have long supported their commitment and the sacrifices they have made," she added.

The pair were released in December after spending 16 months in prison.

They and another woman, Yekaterina Samutsevich, were convicted in August 2012 for singing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral.

Amnesty International announced last week that "Masha" and "Nadya" would make an appearance at the concert on 5 February.

It will form part of their first trip to New York since being granted amnesty by Russian president Vladimir Putin - a gesture the pair dismissed as a publicity stunt.

Lauryn Hill, Bob Geldof, Yoko Ono and Imagine Dragons are also on the bill of the Bringing Human Rights Home event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The announcement follows Madonna's performance at the Grammys on Sunday and her guest appearance with Miley Cyrus at a MTV Unplugged recording two days later.

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