RUSSIA RELIGION NEWS


Pokemon hunter has partial win in appeal

COURT MITIGATES SENTENCE FOR VIDEOBLOGGER WHO HUNTED POKEMONS IN CHURCH

RAPSI, 7 July 2017

 

The Sverdlovsk provincial court mitigated the punishment from 3.5 years suspended to 2 years and 3 months suspended for videoblogger Ruslan Sokolovsky who hunted Pokemons in the Ekaterinburg Church-on-the-Blood, the attorney Aleksei Bushmakov told RAPSI.

 

The court made this decision after reviewing the appellate complaint of the defense of the convict.

 

"Today the Sverdlovsk provincial court mitigated the sentence for videoblogger Ruslan Sokolovsky. Instead of a suspended 3.5 years of prison that the Verkh-Isetsk district court of Ekaterinburg ordered, it is a suspended 2 years and 3 months," the news agency's source said.

 

By the verdict of the Verkh-Isetsk district court of Ekaterinburg, Sokolovsky was found guilty of 9 counts of the crime under article 282 of the Criminal Code of the RF (inciting hatred or strife along with demeaning human dignity), 7 counts based on article 148 of the Criminal Code of the RF (violation of the law on freedom of conscience and religious confession), and also one count on article 138.1 of the Criminal Code of the RF (illegal purchase of special technical devices intended for covert access of information).

 

The young man categorically denies his guilt.

 

According to information of the investigation, in the period from May 2013 to September 2016, the accused, using access to the information and telecommunications network Internet, prepared and posted on the Internet host YouTube nine videofiles, which according to a forensic expert analysis conducted in the course of the investigation contain indicators of inciting hatred or strife and demeaning the dignity of a person and group of persons on the basis of identity of nationality, attitude toward religion, and also affiliation with any social group. At the same time, according to materials of the criminal case, the posting of some of the aforesaid videofiles on the Internet was regarded by experts also to be public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed for purposes of offending the religious feelings of believers.

 

In addition, according to information of the investigation, the accused illegally acquired a special technical device, a photo video recorder mounted in the body of a ballpoint pen. According to the conclusion of an expert, said device accords with the category of special technical devices intended for covertly receiving and recording visual and audio information.

 

Sokolovsky was subjected to criminal prosecution after he published on his YouTube account a video in which, using a mobile application, he played the popular game PokemonGo in an Orthodox church, the Church-on-the-Blood in Ekaterinburg. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 July 2017)


 

COURT MITIGATES SENTENCE OF POKEMON HUNTER SOKOLOVSKY

by Olga Erachina

RIA Novosti, 7 July 2017

 

The Sverdlovsk provincial court mitigated the sentence of blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky who hunted Pokemons in a church, an RIA Novosti correspondent reports from the courtroom.

 

From 3.5 years suspended imprisonment, the term was shortened to 2 years and 3 months suspended.

 

"The appointed punishment is considered conditional with a probation term of two years," the judge declared.

 

By decision of the judge, punishment for the illegal possession of a special device—a pen with a camera (permission for its purchase had been issued by the F.S.B.)—was excised from the sentence. Punishment for inciting hatred toward Christianity and Islam was left in force.

 

The court also confirmed the prohibition for the blogger to attend mass events. Sokolovsky himself remained dissatisfied with the verdict and he plans to appeal the decision of the appellate court "all the way to the ECHR."

 

In August of last year, Sokolovsky posted on his account on YouTube a video where he plays the PokemonGO application during a service in the Church-on-the-Blood in Ekaterinburg. The video was accompanied by obscene words stylized in the form of church singing, and at the end of the tape the blogger mocked the foundations of Christianity. The prosecutor's office demanded sentencing Sokolovsky to real time because the blogger himself refused to acknowledge his guilt. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 July 2017)


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