Pussy Riot members to attend May 5 literary gala

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NEW YORK (AP) — Two members of Pussy Riot will be attending a literary celebration that already includes Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie and Robert Caro on the guest list.

It was announced Monday that Maria Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova are expected at the PEN American Center Literary Gala. The event is scheduled for May 5 at the Museum of Natural History, where Rushdie and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo will be receiving awards from PEN, the nonprofit organization that has been a longtime advocate for free expression.

Members of Pussy Riot, the Russian punk band, have been arrested on several occasions for protesting against oppressive rule by the Russian government and criticizing President Vladimir Putin, including during the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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