Russian YouTuber reportedly convicted for playing Pokemon Go in church

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Leroy N. Soetoro

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May 11, 2017, 10:27:29 PM5/11/17
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/11/world/russia-pokemon-go-church-trnd/

(CNN)Ruslan Sokolovsky fought the law -- and the law won.

The popular Russian YouTuber was convicted Thursday for insulting
religious believers and inciting hatred after he filmed a Pokemon Go video
in a church.

Prosecutors had asked for a prison sentence of 3 1/2 years, Russian news
agency TASS reported. Sokolovsky, 22, said he was relieved to get a
suspended sentence for the same period.

"In general, I'm glad that I remain free," he told TASS.

In his video, Sokolovsky explains that he decided to film in the church
after seeing a news report threatening legal implications for doing so. He
recorded it in August, when the augmented reality game became a global
phenomenon.

On camera, Sokolovsky walks into the Church of All Saints in
Yekaterinburg, catches a few Pokemon, and walks out.

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

Sokolovsky was arrested the following month under Article 282 --
incitement of hatred or enmity and humiliation of human dignity -- and
Article 148 -- violation of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom
of religion -- of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according
to Amnesty International. He was detained for several months and faced up
to five years in prison.

Sokolovsky pleaded not guilty and apologized for the video, TASS reported.


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