Madonna, Pussy Riot speak at human rights concert

By By MESFIN FEKADU

NEW YORK (AP) — Instead of singing, Madonna and Pussy Riot spoke with passion about human rights issues at a concert for Amnesty International.

Madonna told the crowd of thousands Wednesday at the Barclays Center that she received death threats for standing up for Pussy Riot, a Russian protest punk band, when two of its members were arrested for hooliganism after staging a protest in a Russian church in 2012. The pop icon called herself a "freedom fighter."

Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were released from prison in December. They spoke through a translator at the "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert, telling the audience they were grateful to be free but have to continue to fight to save others who are imprisoned.

The more than four-hour event featured performances from the Flaming Lips, Yoko Ono, Blondie, Imagine Dragons, Lauryn Hill and Cake.

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