On Sept. 2, Ruslan Sokolovsky, a 22-yr-vintage video blogger from Yekaterinburg, was arrested on suspicion of inciting hate and offending believers’ feelings. The arrest became caused by means of a video published on the blogger’s YouTube channel, in which Sokolovsky is strolling round a neighborhood Orthodox church while gambling the well-known recreation Pokémon Go.
Why make the video?
In keeping with the blogger, he decided to movie the video inner Yekaterinburg’s Church on the Blood after he heard on Russian Television that playing Pokémon Go inside a church ought to result in 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 spiritual training in Russia. Due to the fact that early 2016, he has additionally been publishing a mag mocking religion. (As of Sept. 6, the website is not to be had. – RBTH)
Blogger may want to serve 3-5 years in jail for ‘offensive’ videos
The criminal case launched in opposition to Sokolovsky lists prices: ‘inciting hate’ and ‘offending the emotions of believers’.
Yekaterinburg’s Kirovsky courtroom placed the blogger under arrest for two months. In keeping with his attorney, the decide refused to launch Sokolovsky on bail, despite the fact that he is only liable for caring for his disabled mom. underneath Article 282 of the Russian criminal Code, Sokolovsky faces as much as 5 years in prison for ‘Incitement of Country wide, Racial, or religious Enmity’, and up to a few years in jail or a quality of as much as 500,000 rubles ($7,seven-hundred) for offending believers’ feelings.
Church and public reaction
Consistent with Vladimir Legoyda, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, Sokolovsky is acting like Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical mag famous for its arguable cartoons. Writing on Fb, Legoyda said: “The young man in Yekaterinburg turned into arrested … no longer for catching Pokemons in church but for the motion pictures he fabricated from this entire technique and the very extraordinary 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 need to ‘be impaled’. “You could catch Pokemons to your closet or at the sauna. A church is a prayer residence. It isn’t a place for playing soccer or drinking coffee or engaging in idle communicate or catching Pokemons. It’s miles a special region reserved most effective for prayer and holy sacraments,” the archpriest said.
For his part, Yekaterinburg mayor Yevgeny Royzman voiced guide for Sokolovsky. On his Facebook page, the mayor wrote: “It’s far insane. The fellow, of path, did a provocative component however a person can’t be arrested for behaving like an idiot, or for missing manners or having a preference to expose off!” Royzman entreated clergymen, and especially Patriarch Kirill, to return to the younger blogger’s defense.
Public opinion at the tale is divided, as evident from comments on Legoyda’s and Royzman’s Facebook posts. Some accept as true with that Sokolovsky should face crook prosecution, while others see nothing criminal in what he did and get in touch with for the blogger’s release from custody.