Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Peace award to honour jailed trio

Yoko Ono will present the LennonOno Grant For Peace in Iceland

Russian punk activists Pussy Riot and the late writer Christopher Hitchens are to be given a biennial peace prize in memory of John Lennon.

They are among the recipients of the LennonOno Grant For Peace which will be handed out in Reykjavik, Iceland, by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono next month.

Pussy Riot were at the centre of international outrage last month when three female members were jailed for two years following a performance in a Moscow cathedral earlier this year. Many musicians have tried to rally support in protest at their treatment.

Journalist and author Hitchens - who died last year - was an outspoken atheist who criticised many powerful figures but had been a supporter of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Also to receive the award are the late Rachel Corrie, the US peace activist who was killed in 2003 as she tried to protect the home of a Palestinian family, and the US writer and activist John Perkins.

The awards will be handed out on October 9 on the day which Lennon would have celebrated his 72nd birthday.

A fifth recipient will also be honoured and their name will be announced at a later date. Members of Pussy Riot will be awarded their grant in New York on September 21.

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