Some of you may remember a bizarre story from last year in which a Russian video blogger filmed himself playing Pokemon Go in a church and was subsequently arrested for mocking religious beliefs. Ruslan Sokolovsky has now learned his fate, narrowly escaping prison time after being handed a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.
The 22-year-old had pleaded not guilty to inciting religious hatred when he posted a video of himself playing the game in Yekaterinburg’s Church of All Saints in August last year. While the court found him guilty, he at least managed to avoid the jail term prosecutors had asked for. It’s the same offense 2 members of the band Pussy Riot had spent 2 years in jail for back in 2012, so perhaps the young blogger can count himself lucky in this instance.
As well as the Pokemon Go related infraction, Sokolovsky had also been charged with “illegal trafficking of special technical equipment” after a pen with a built-in video camera was found in his home following his arrest. Sokolovsky and his lawyers are currently deciding whether or not to appeal the verdict.
The original video, which you can see below (turn on auto-translate subtitles to give you the gist), was posted in response to official warnings about playing smartphone games in churches. The blogger took issue with this and sought to draw attention to what he believed was “complete nonsense.”
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