thursday, 11 may of 2017

Pokemon Go: Russian blogger sentenced

A Russian blogger has been given a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence after he posted a video of himself playing Pokemon Go in a church.

The court in the city of Yekaterinburg found Ruslan Sokolovsky guilty of insulting religious believers and inciting hatred.

During the trial, Sokolovsky, now aged 22, had pleaded not guilty.

He filmed himself playing the popular game in the local Orthodox church in August 2016.

He was arrested shortly afterwards.

On Thursday, Sokolovsky was also found guilty of "illegal trafficking of special technical equipment" after a pen with a built-in video camera had been discovered during the search of his home.

During the trial, the prosecution had asked for Sokolovsky to be jailed for three-and-a-half years.

After the verdict was announced, the blogger was visibly relieved.

"Without the support from reporters, I would possibly have been given a real prison sentence," he said.

The video from the church built in remembrance of Tsar Nicholas II and his family was posted by Sokolovsky in August 2016, quickly attracting many viewers.

It was published apparently in response to warnings that playing such games in church might have legal consequences.

In the video, Sokolovsky - just before going inside the church - is seen saying that the risk of being arrested is "complete nonsense".

"Who could get offended if you're just walking around with your smartphone in a church?"

(Published by BBC - May 11, 2017)

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