Christopher Hitchens And Pussy Riot To Get John Lennon Peace Prize (PICTURES, VIDEO)

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CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS
Christopher Hitchens, who died in 2011 | Getty Images

The late writer Christopher Hitchens and Russian punk activists Pussy Riot - three of whose members have been jailed - 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.

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.

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.

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 9 October 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 21 September.

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