MOSCOW, July 10 (RAPSI) – Russian court bailiffs have arrested a member of the infamous group Pussy Riot Maria Alyokhina for evading community service imposed on her by a court ruling, lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina has told RAPSI.
The lawyer said that Alyokhina was arrested near the Ismaylovsky District Court of Moscow. The court is hearing a defamation lawsuit against the defendant and Sobesednik newspaper filed by the Nizhny Novgorod prison №2.
However, in accordance with the ruling in a separate case issued by the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow, Alyokhina, is to undergo 100 hours of compulsory community service for unauthorized action against blocking of Telegram messenger.
On April 17, Alyokhina along with other two women were found guilty of organizing a mass concurrent stay and (or) movement of citizens in a public square resulted in breach of public order.
On April 16, thirteen participants of the action came to Lubyanka Square in central Moscow where the Federal Security Service is located. They threw multicolored paper planes at the FSB building thus protesting Telegram blocking.
Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor started blocking the messenger on April 16 following a court order. Moscow’s Tagansky District Court tasked Roskomnadzor on April 13 with putting a stop to sending and receiving messages through Telegram until the messenger fulfills its obligations by providing deciphering keys. The ruling came into force immediately. According to the communications watchdog’s statement, Roskomnadzor received the ruling and forwarded the relevant information to operators.
As for the defamation case, the prison authorities accuse Alyokhina and the newspaper of defamation published in one of the articles in 2017. The article reportedly tells of inmates’ labor conditions in the Nizhny Novgorod female penal colony where the Pussy Riot member served her sentence. The plaintiff demands to recognize statements containing in the article contradicting the reality and discrediting the penitentiary facility.
Feminist punk group Pussy Riot became known in February 2012, when Alyokhina along with four other young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas staged a punk rock prayer in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. An edited video of their performance was posted on the Internet and caused a public outcry.
In August 2012, the Khamovnichesky District Court in Moscow sentenced Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to two years for hooliganism. In October 2012, the Moscow City Court changed Samutsevich's verdict to a suspended sentence and released her immediately based on her new attorneys' argument that she had been seized by security guards prior to reaching the altar. In December 2013, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were pardoned under the amnesty dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.