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Russian blogger convicted for playing 'Pokemon Go' in church


In summer 2016, the 22-year-old blogger had posted a video of himself playing the popular phone app game "Pokemon Go" in an Orthodox church in Yekaerinburg, a city on the eastern side of the Ural mountains.

As you can see in the video, which already has been watched over 900,000 times, Sokolovsky first refers to reports of people being warned that playing Pokémon Go in the Church premises could land them in jail.

Judge Yekaterina Shoponyak said Sokolovsky had been on trial not only for playing the game in the church but also for "offending believers".

Sokolovsky has been given a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence, which means he won't be imprisoned unless he is found guilty of a new crime.

You can watch the complete video, which has been viewed almost 2 million times, below. Some of the congregation of the church where Sokolovskiy shot the video acted as witnesses, and the clip itself was used as evidence in the process.

Amnesty International called him a prisoner of conscienceand had urged Russian Federation to release him.


Sokolovsky recorded a video of himself playing the augmented reality monster catching game in a local Orthodox church.

"Aggregating all offences, the court sentences (Sokolovsky) to three years and six months of prison". "Who can ever be offended by you walking around a church with your smartphone?" he asks at the start of his video. As such, many casual gamers and Pokemon GO players are glad that the sentencing was not as as severe as it could have been, as the maximum sentence could have been seven years.

During the trial, Sokolovsky made a point of apologizing to anyone he offended with the video.

When he was arrested last October, he was also charged with owning a camera pen, which was found at his home.

'Without the support from reporters, I would possibly have been given a real prison sentence, ' he said.

"With Sokolovsky's conviction, the Russian authorities send a strong message to anyone who wants to challenge the country's grotesque "blasphemy" law", said Sergei Nikitin, director of Amnesty International Russia, in a statement released this week (11 May).

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