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Pussy Riot are raising money for activists fined for throwing paper planes

The group was protesting against Russia’s ban on encrypted messenger app Telegram

Pussy Riot are crowdfunding to help 10 activists who are being fined for a paper plane protest that took place last month.

“Ten activists who were throwing paper planes to the FSB building were fined,” they wrote on the official Twitter. “Altogether they have to pay $1780 to Putin for their beliefs. They don't have enough money to deal with it, that's why we're asking for your help.” The post includes an email for a Paypal address with the #digitalresistance hashtag.

Protesters gathered outside Russia’s Federal Security Service building after the government announced a ban on Telegram, an encrypted messaging service. Video footage from the event shows Masha Alekhina from Pussy Riot alongside other activists peacefully throwing paper planes, a symbol in the Telegram logo, outside the FSS building. Alekhina was later arrested and got 100 hours of community service.

Whistleblower Edward Snowdon called the digital block a “morally and technically ignorant censorship effort,” on Twitter. In response to such criticisms, the government claimed that the ban is to prevent terrorism. However, activists worry this is another attempt at curbing free speech and political dissent.

The Russian internet has been increasingly subjected to tight regulations, with the first blocklists appearing in 2012. Recently Russia shut down one of its longest-running gay wesbites, gay.ru, then Parni PLUS, a website dedicated to HIV and LGBT-related health advice eventually met the same fate. Both were issued a notice by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media.

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