Vladimir Pozner: "As it is known, I am an atheist. I stridently believe there is no God. [...] By propagating this view, am I violating the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation?"

posted 17 May 2017, 11:14 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 May 2017, 11:24 ]
"As it is known, I am an atheist. I stridently believe there is no God. It's not that I run around shouting, 'There isn't, there isn't' from morning to evening, but I do not hide my convictions. I would like to get an exhaustive clarification. By propagating this view, am I violating the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation? Perhaps [Russian Orthodox Church head] Patriarch Kirill would say whether I am insulting his religious feelings by affirming there is no God. Perhaps the chairman of the Constitutional Court could tell me if I have the right to think what I think and say what I say. Perhaps, the head of state [Putin] could clarify: Does court await me, will [I be given] a 'soft' sentence?"

- Vladimir Pozner, journalist, commenting on the conviction of YouTuber Ruslan Sokolovsky for 'offending  religious feelings' [as quoted by RFE/RL]

Photo: Wikipedia

On 16 May 2017, Tom Balmforth, writing for RFE/RL, reported: "On state TV's First Channel, the country's most watched station, veteran journalist Vladimir Pozner, 83, on May 15 criticized the law on 'insulting religious feelings' that saw Ruslan Sokolovsky handed a 3 1/2-year suspended sentence. Pozner read from the May 11 verdict against Sokolovsky, which found he had insulted religious feelings by 'denying the existence of God, denying the existence of the founders of Christianity and of Islam, Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammed'."

Source:
Tom Balmforth, Veteran State TV Journalist Asks On Air: Can Atheism Get You Jailed In Russia?, RFE/RL, 16 May 2017
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