Russian Officials Stop Pussy Riot Member From Traveling to Scotland

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Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot at the Saatchi Gallery on Nov. 15, 2017 in London. 

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina was stopped from leaving Russia this week as she was traveling to the United Kingdom to perform at a theater show in Edinburgh, Scotland. Authorities explained the move by her failure to carry out 140 hours of community service imposed for street protests.

Alyokhina was supposed to take a plane for London from Moscow's Domodedovo airport on Wednesday, but border control officers told her she was barred from leaving the country, Alyokhina wrote on her Twitter account.

The passport control officers didn't immediately explain the reason for the ban.

Later, the Federal Bailiffs Service said that Alyokhina was stopped from leaving Russia because she had failed to carry out 140 hours of community service, to which she was serviced last month as punishment for participation in two street protests.

One of the protests was against Russia's security service, FSB, and the other one was against blocking the Telegram messenger service in Russia.

Last month, a Moscow court fined Alyokhina for 400,000 rubles ($6,211) and sentenced her to community service.

Alyokhina was expected to take part in a show based on her book Riot Days, which is scheduled to open in Edinburgh on Friday and run through August 19.

Alyokhina, alongside another Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were given two-year sentences for the "punk prayer" they performed at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012, protesting against Vladimir Putin's likely running for a third presidential term.

They were released on probation in December 2013, four months before their sentences were supposed to expire.