Person of the Week: Ruslan Sokolovsky

posted 12 Sep 2016, 06:35 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Sep 2016, 06:37 ]
On 7 September 2016, Amnesty International declared Ruslan Sokolovsky, a 21-year-old law student and blogger from Ekaterinburg, a prisoner of conscience. Ruslan Sokolovsky was detained on 2 September and on 3 September was remanded in custody for two months at a closed hearing by a district court. He faces up to five years’ imprisonment for a video he published showing himself playing Pokemon GO in a church. As Amnesty International reports, he has been charged under Article 282 (“inciting hatred or enmity and insulting human dignity”) and Article 148 part 2 (“public actions expressing clear disrespect to society with the aim to insult religious feelings of believers committed in places for religious worship”) of the Russian Criminal Code. These articles provide for punishment of up to five years and up to three years in jail, respectively. Amnesty International believes that Ruslan Sokolovsky was detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and considers him a prisoner of conscience. On 8 September, Sverdlovsk regional court transferred Ruslan Sokolovsky to house arrest. 

Sources: 
Elena Cresci, 'Russian YouTuber facing five years in jail after playing Pokémon Go in church,' The Guardian, 5 September 2016
'Russia: Blogger jailed for playing Pokémon Go in a cathedral must be immediately released,' Amnesty International USA, 6 September 2016
'RUSSIAN FEDERATION: JAILED FOR PLAYING POKEMON GO IN CHURCH: RUSLAN SOKOLOVSKY,' Amnesty International, 7 September 2016
'Russian Security Services Say ‘Spy Pen’ Found in Pokemon Go Player's Home,' The Moscow Times, 6 September 2016
'Russian Charged With Playing Pokemon Go In Church Given House Arrest,' RFE/RL, 8 September 2016
Ruslan Sokolovsky's YouTube channel

Photo: RFE/RL
Comments