Prosecutor calls for optimum sentence for YouTuber after his video criticising blasphemy legislation and enjoying Pokémon Go in church.
It sounds ludicrous, however Ruslan Sokolovsky uploaded a vlog last year through which he exhibits a information clip that explains that anybody caught enjoying Pokémon Go in church could possibly be fined as much as half 1,000,000 rubles, or in excessive circumstances, could possibly be jailed for as much as three years.
Sokolovsky criticises these measures which might be coated beneath the nation’s blasphemy bill.
“Actions offending believers’ feelings,” kind a part of the invoice, as they’re “harmful for the whole society by creating conflict situation within it,” stated Irina Yarovaya, a United Russia deputy and one of many invoice’s initiators.
The legislation got here into play in 2013 after Pussy Riot’s anti-Putin protest concert held in Moscow’s Saviour Cathedral. The crime is punishable by jail time and though the menace alone has acted as a enough deterrent, it was applied for the first time in March last year, just some months earlier than Sokolovsky made his video.
After the intro, he heads into the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg – which is a apparently a Pokémon Gym, so he’s not the primary to play there – and he wraps up the video with a Jesus joke.
Shortly after the video went up, state prosecutors accused Sokolovsky of inciting non secular hatred and he was arrested and despatched to pre-trial detention earlier than ultimately being launched on bail and put beneath home arrest, in keeping with Reuters.
The case is now in courtroom and the prosecutor is looking for Sokolovsky to be jailed.
“I believe that there is no reason to exempt the defendant from liability,” the prosecutor advised the courtroom on Friday, the TASS information company reported. “There is also no reason to sentence him to a fine … I request that the court sentence him to 3.5 years in a penal colony.”
“I’m in shock,” Sokolovsky advised the courtroom after listening to this. “I have been in jail, I was there for three months, and it is the doorway to hell.”
“I do not consider myself an extremist, maybe I’m an idiot, but not in any way an extremist.”
The verdict can be handed on May 11.
Any legislation that curtails speech is step one alongside the highway to insanity. Hurt emotions are a matter of subjectivity, and the matter of context and intent might be manipulated or ignored. We’ll see how issues pan out for Sokolovsky later this month.