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April 18 2018 - 15:04

Pussy Riot Activist Ordered to Do Community Service for Throwing Paper Planes at FSB Building

Maria Alekhina

Maria Alekhina

Steve Parsons / PA Images / TASS

Pussy Riot band member Maria Alyokhina has been ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for throwing paper planes outside the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in central Moscow in support of the embattled Telegram instant messaging service.

The FSB has for a year sought encryption keys from Telegram — which uses a white paper plane as its logo — to unscramble private messages, resulting in a court ruling to ban the app in Russia. On Monday, Russian internet providers began to implement the court order to shut down the app, blocking up to 18 million IP addresses in 48 hours.

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Alyokhina was detained among a dozen other activists Monday for “making and launching paper products” and “interfering with the free passage of citizens” outside the FSB building, the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.

“Alyokhina didn’t react to criticism from passersby and continued to throw [paper planes],” the judge was cited as saying by the Mediazona news website Wednesday, before appointing 100 hours of compulsory community service for the activist.

Two other activists were fined 10,000 rubles and 20,000 rubles each for the same infraction, Mediazona reported Tuesday.

“I saw that children picked up the planes and enjoyed themselves,” Alyokhina told the judge earlier, according to a live transcript by Mediazona.

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