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Pussy Riot, Dazed Digital
Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina given community service

The activist is being punished for a protest she staged at the Russian FSB headquarters

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has been ordered to perform 40 hours of community service for a protest in which she and Olga Borisova put up a banner reading “Happy Birthday, Executioners” at an entrance to the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Russia.

December 20 was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police organisation that preceded dictator Joseph Stalin’s NKVD, the KGB, and post-Soviet Russia’s FSB. On December 21, Judge Yulia Mordvina ruled that Alyokhina had “violated the law on public gatherings”.

Alyokhina and her photographer Denis Bocharyov now face up to 15 days in jail or a fine after spending the night at a police station ahead of the administrative hearing. They were charged with participating in an unsanctioned demonstration that “hampers citizens’ access to living space, transportation facilities, or social infrastructure”. Bocharyov hasn’t yet been charged.