If you are in Russia, do not play Pokémon Go in a church. Even if this bloody Mewtwo is hiding there. You might end up in jail.
Ruslan Sokolovsky, a 22-year-old Russian blogger, was sentenced to three and a half years after posting a video he took of himself playing Pokémon Go inside the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg, in Russia.
The court said the blogger was guilty of “inciting religious hatred” and insulting religious believers, the same offense that sent two members of the punk female Pussy Riot collective to prison for two years in 2012.
Ruslan Sokolovsky posted the video in direct response to news that people can be fined or imprisoned in Russia to play Pokémon Go in churches. In trying to catch Pokémon (and discover that the church is actually a PokéStop), he joked about Jesus in the video.
“But, you know, I did not catch the rarest Pokémon you could find out there – Jesus,” he said in the video. “But I could not help him. They say [he] does not even exist, so I’m not really surprised.”
Sokolovsky has been under house arrest since his detention in September.
During the trial, Sokolovsky pleaded not guilty and compared his sentence to those imprisoned for blaspheming communism under the Stalin regime, Meduza reported.
“I can be an idiot, but I am by no means an extremist,” Sokolovksy said.
The blogger was also found guilty of “illicit trafficking of special technical equipment” after a pen with an integrated video camera was discovered while searching for his home.
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