A 22-yr-vintage Russian blogger could spend as much as five years in prison for playing Pokémon Go in church, accused of inciting hate and offending believers’ feelings.
On Sept. 2, Ruslan Sokolovsky, a 22-year-vintage video blogger from Yekaterinburg, was arrested on suspicion of inciting hate and offending believers’ feelings. The arrest turned into caused by a video published on the blogger’s YouTube channel, wherein Sokolovsky is on foot around a local Orthodox church while gambling the well-known game Pokémon Move.
Why make the video?
Consistent with the blogger, he determined to movie the video inside Yekaterinburg’s Church at the Blood after he heard on Russian Television that playing Pokémon Pass interior a church ought to bring about crook prosecution for offending believers’ emotions.
Sokolovsky, an atheist, criticizes the church in numerous video posts, and opposes what he says as its attempts to impose non secular training in Russia. Considering early 2016, he has additionally been publishing a magazine mocking religion. (As of Sept. 6, the website is now not to be had. – RBTH)
Blogger ought to serve three-five years in jail for ‘offensive’ films
The crook case released against Sokolovsky lists charges: ‘inciting hate’ and ‘offending the emotions of believers’.
Yekaterinburg’s Kirovsky court docket placed the blogger under arrest for two months. In line with his lawyer, the decide refused to launch Sokolovsky on bail, despite the fact that he is only liable for worrying for his disabled mother. Underneath Article 282 of the Russian crook Code, Sokolovsky faces as much as five years in jail for ‘Incitement of Countrywide, Racial, or spiritual Enmity’, and up to a few years in prison or a first-rate of as much as 500,000 rubles ($7,700) for offending believers’ feelings.
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Church and public reaction
In keeping with Vladimir Legoyda, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Branch for Church and Society Relations, Sokolovsky is appearing like Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine well-known for its debatable cartoons. Writing on Facebook, Legoyda stated: “The younger man in Yekaterinburg become arrested … now not for catching Pokemons in church however for the motion pictures he manufactured from this whole method and the very bizarre remarks he made.”
Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov proposed public punishment for the blogger. In an interview with the Moscow Calling radio station, he joked that Sokolovsky should ‘be impaled’. “You can capture Pokemons to your closet or at the sauna. A church is a prayer house. It isn’t always a place for gambling soccer or drinking espresso or carrying out idle communicate or catching Pokemons. It’s far a unique vicinity reserved best for prayer and holy sacraments,” the archpriest stated.
For his part, Yekaterinburg mayor Yevgeny Royzman voiced assist for Sokolovsky. On his Facebook web page, the mayor wrote: “It’s far insane. The guy, of course, did a provocative factor but a person can’t be arrested for behaving like an idiot, or for missing manners or having a desire to expose off!” Royzman urged priests, and particularly Patriarch Kirill, to come back to the young blogger’s defense.
Public opinion at the tale is divided, as glaring from comments on Legoyda’s and Royzman’s Fb posts. A few accept as true with that Sokolovsky ought to face criminal prosecution, while others see not anything crook in what he did and get in touch with for the blogger’s launch from custody.