(QHA) -

The pop queen Madonna, who called for the release of Pussy Riot girls while performing in Russia, will appear with them at a concert in New York, Sky News reported.

Madonna will introduce two formerly jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot when they appear at an Amnesty International concert next week.

The pop queen will hail Maria Alyokhina, 25, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, as "fellow freedom fighters" before they speak at the event in New York on February 5.

It is their first trip to the city since being granted amnesty in December by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

They were jailed for nearly two years after being convicted in 2012 of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred when they stormed Moscow's biggest cathedral and sang a protest song against Mr Putin.

Madonna has been outspoken in her support for the band. During two shows in Moscow and St Petersburg last year she donned a balaclava similar to those they wear and called for them to be freed.

"I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think that these three girls - Masha, Katya, Nadya - I think that they have done something courageous," Madonna said to loud cheers from the crowd at Moscow's Olympiysky Stadium last August.

"I pray for their freedom," she said.

QHA