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Russian Prosecutor Demands Jail Time for Man Who Played Game in Church - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Yekaterinburg – A Russian state prosecutor asked a court to jail a blogger who played Pokemon Go inside a church for three-and-a-half years on Friday, saying he was guilty of inciting religious hatred, a court employee told Reuters by phone.

Ruslan Sokolovsky, 22, a popular blogger, last August posted a video online of himself playing Pokemon on his mobile phone inside a church in Yekaterinburg.

In the video, which contains strong language mocking Christianity, Sokolovsky likens Jesus Christ to a Pokemon character and says he had decided to play the popular game inside the church because he had seen a news report saying people who did so could be fined or jailed.

Soon after the video appeared, state prosecutors accused Sokolovsky of inciting religious hatred.

TASS news agency quoted the prosecutor saying ” I request that the court sentence him to 3.5 years.”

Sokolovsky, who is currently under house arrest, said “I’m in shock.”
Sokolovsky told the court after listening to the prosecutor, video footage of the proceedings showed.

“I do not consider myself an extremist, maybe I’m an idiot, but not in any way an extremist,” he added.

The court is expected to issue a verdict on May 11.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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