Russian Pokemon Go trainer faces five years in jail for playing the game in church

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A video posted on YouTube last month, could lead to a five-year stretch in a Russian jail for Ruslan Sokolovsky. It seems that the video, which has been viewed 946,000 times, shows Sokolovsky playing Pokemon Go on his phone inside the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg. The video was posted on August 11th and led an investigative committee to release a statement on September 3rd.

The statement says that a 21-year old was charged with inciting hatred and offending religious sensibilities. Obviously referring to Sokolovsky, the statement goes on to say that he will be detained for at least two months with the possibility that the sentence could stretch out to reach five years in jail.

The mayor of Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman, is obviously not a Pokemon Go fan. While he called the arrest "a disgrace," he added that "You can’t arrest a man for idiocy." Also weighing in with a comment was Russian Orthodox Church spokesman Vladimir Legoyda. The latter posted on his Facebook page that Sokolovsky is a well-known young blogger who writes in the satirical style of Charlie Hebdo. The spokesman said that the charge against the 21-year old had nothing to do with catching Pokemon inside the church.

Supporting Sokolovsky is feminist punk rock activist group Pussy Riot. The Pokemon Go trainer was hit with the same charges that three members of the all-female group were arrested for back in 2012. Their arrests and subsequent jail sentences made international news. A tweet disseminated by them on Saturday attempts to line up global support to get the 21-year old removed from jail.

source: @pussyrrriot via TheGuardian

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