Russian student on probation for catching pokemon

The hype around the world catching pokemon is a thing of the past. However, in Russia this story was the continuation of a legal nature: the fact that one 22-year-old user went to catch pokemon using the mobile app, not just anywhere, but in Church, for which he is now sentenced to conditional imprisonment for insult of religious feelings and incitement to religious hatred. The Prosecutor demanded for him a real prison term of three and a half years.

In August 2016, student Ruslan Sokolovsky responded to a report of the state TV channel “Russia-24”, stating that catching pokemon in certain places, in particular at polling stations and in churches, is prohibited and may be punishable. On YouTube, he posted a video on how he is in the largest Church of Ekaterinburg was catching cute monsters. The temple-on-blood was built in the post-Soviet time the place where in 1918 the Bolsheviks executed the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and members of his family.

Pokemon student the catch, of course, failed, but he was accused of violating three laws: in the videos posted earlier Sokolovsky, the Prosecutor’s office saw the incitement from his side of hatred and enmity. Besides his hunt for pokémon in the Church he allegedly caused harm to the feelings of believers. The relevant article appeared in the Russian criminal code after the scandal around the actions of the punk group Pussy Riot in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012. In addition, the investigators during a search of the apartment Sokolowski found a pencil with a built in camera, and the possession of equipment for espionage in Russia is prohibited.

In his final speech the Prosecutor said: “disrespect for the state is unacceptable. If someone doesn’t like something, he has the right to leave the country.” There it was noted that the accused “only expressed his negative attitude, not making any counter proposals.”

The student was shocked by the verdict. In his concluding remarks, he stated that he is a staunch atheist, a cosmopolitan and libertarian, but never hurt anyone to Express their own faith in God. “Maybe I’m an idiot, but I’m not an extremist,” he added and stressed that his actions did not lead to any casualties.

This fact inspired the authors of “the Simpsons”

Vlog Sokolovsky was not exclusively political; like many other channels on YouTube, he watched current events, video games, and other bloggers. At the same time the human rights organization “memorial” named Sokolowski as a political prisoner because he is pleased by the court merely for expressing their opinions. To date, the “memorial” has recognized a total of 116 Russian citizens as political prisoners. Human rights activists point out that such cases occur more and more often: the Russian justice condemns people only for their statements in social networks, because they share publications allegedly bearing the extremist or “like” them.

I must say that the case has received wide international resonance, inspired, in particular, the authors of the famous cartoon series “the Simpsons.” So, in a series shown on American TV channel Fox, Homer Simpson chasing a pokemon during a Church service. However, Russian TV channel 2×2, showcasing this animated series in the country, has already announced that this series will not be shown.