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Pokémon Go player sentenced for inciting religious hatred

Pokémon Go player sentenced for inciting religious hatred

Ruslan Sokolovsky, above, arrested last August for committing the horrendous crime of playing the video game in the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land in Yekaterinburg, was given a suspended jail sentence this week.

The blogger, according to this report, compounded his offence by posting his caper on YouTube, and more than two million people viewed his video.

In a short speech at the beginning of the video, Sokolovsky dismissed media reports that playing Pokémon Go in churches could result in a prison sentence. He said:

This is complete nonsense. Who could get offended if you’re just walking around with your smartphone in a church?

But several weeks later, on September 2, Sokolovsky was detained on charges of extremism and insulting the feelings of believers.

Prosecutors claim to have found “elements of incitement of hatred” in nine videos uploaded by Sokolovsky to YouTube and his so-called “atheist” video blog, between May 2013 and September 2016.

He was charged with nine counts of inciting hatred and seven of breaching the right to freedom of religion.

A separate charge of using special equipment to illegally obtain information was added to the list after police found a ballpoint pen with a hidden camera during a search of his home.

The maximum sentence for insulting the rights of religious believers carries a sentence of up to seven years. But prosecutors thought that a three-and-a-half year term in prison would be sufficient punishment.

But on Thursday, a court sentenced him to 160 hours of compulsory community service and ordered him not to appear in public places.

Russian news agencies had quoted a prosecutor as saying in court:

There are no grounds to let the defendant go unpunished.

Pokémon Go, jointly developed by Nintendo Co and Niantic Inc, generated masses of followers around the world as players use their phones to capture animated characters that appear in real locations.

Sokolovsky’s treatment has drawn comparisons with the jailing of the Pussy Riot performance artists after they staged a punk performance in a Moscow cathedral in 2012.

The case has once again highlighted the power of the Russian Orthodox Church under the conservative rule of President Vladimir Putin.

Hat tip: Pasties

10 responses to “Pokémon Go player sentenced for inciting religious hatred”

  1. Paul says:

    Comparison.
    Adolf Hitler & the RCC.
    Putin & the Russian Orthodox Church.
    Two dictators and two dictatorships.
    History shows it works very well.

  2. L.Long says:

    There is not too much that can be said about their hate filled bigotry than their own psychotic behavior.

  3. remigius says:

    Why do people devote so much time and effort to the pursuit of these ridiculous fictional characters?

    It is totally beyond my comprehension. Perhaps they should just play Pokemon Go instead.

  4. Stephen Mynett says:

    Paul, your comparison post made me think of a very good book by Karlheinz Deschner, a historian Barry Duke has written about on this site, if you can get a copy it is well worth reading: https://www.amazon.co.uk/God-Fascists-Vatican-Alliance-Mussolini/dp/1616148373/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1494722027&sr=8-2&keywords=karlheinz+deschner

  5. Simon says:

    The atrocious alliance between the Vatican and Berlin is well understood and documented but the RCC has done a pretty good job of obscuring the awful truth. And Catholic tentacles and infest Germany today. Just go look at Concordat Watch and see how invasive the RCC is.

  6. 1859 says:

    It is puzzling that in a country that supposedly ditched religious superstition for almost 70 years, should so enthusiastically welcome it back. Putin has made a clever move, but unfortunately it fosters nothing but bigoted intolerance of anything that smacks of progressive attitudes or opinions. God help the freethinkers of Russia – ooops!

  7. Angela_K says:

    A church is just a building and should not have any special status; they are at best theatres of mumbo-jumboism and at worst theatres of hate. I fail to see how a man playing on his ‘phone is somehow worse than the bile spouted from the pulpit. I’ve visited many churches because I’m interested in the architecture and never show any type of obsequious reverence whilst in the buildings; I speak in my normal voice, not hushed tones, have sworn and even hugged and kissed my partner.

  8. Cali Ron says:

    Remigius: Nice! You’re on a roll lately.

  9. Vanity Unfair says:

    Here’s where I show my ignorance of Pokemon Go.
    How did the creatures get into the church in the first place? If they were part of a Church plan to make the Church more “relevant” then the clergy have only themselves to blame. If they were introduced without consent then that was just bad manners. A notice on the door to the effect that “This building is suffering an infestation of Pokemonsters, please do not inconvenience worshippers by hunting them. Exterminators will be called in.” might help.
    Whichever, the problem is surely tortious, not criminal.
    The church itself (the building) marks the site of the murder, now martyrdom, of the last of the cruel and incompetent Romanov tsars and their replacement by the the cruel and incompetent Bolsheviks. It might yet mark the Restoration of the monarchy under the cruel and incompetent Boris II.

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