“I hope, my last word will not be the last”

Блогеру Соколовскому грозит три с половиной года колонии за ловлю покемонов в храме

Reading time 12 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

What happened?

The prosecution demanded to sentence the new Ruslan Sokolovsky to three and a half years in a penal colony. This statement in the judicial debates in the Ekaterinburg district court gave the Prosecutor Ekaterina Kalinina. In her speech, she also noted that a blogger accused of extremism and insulting the feelings of believers, expresses a negative attitude not only to the Church but to the state as a whole. “The information in the video “Anus itself block, Roskomnadzor”, shows how Sokolowski refers to the state, the President, the citizens. Expression of disrespect to the state is unacceptable, and suspended sentence will only breed a sense of impunity,” – said Kalinin. Ruslan Sokolovsky, in turn, is not guilty. The final verdict will be announced on 11 may at 11 o’clock.

what judge Sokolowski?

In early August of 2016 blogger filmed a prank video about how he plays the popular mobile game Pokemon Go in the Temple-on-Blood in Ekaterinburg. A video posted on the Youtube channel Sokolowski, attracted the attention of both media and the Ministry of internal Affairs. A few weeks later the blogger was arrested on charges of offending religious feelings (article 148 of the criminal code) and inciting hatred or enmity, and humiliation of human dignity (article 282 of the criminal code). First, Sokolovsky was placed in jail, but the defense appealed this decision, and he was transferred under house arrest.

During the investigation it became known that since may 2013 to September 2016 Sokolowski posted on his channel nine videos that, according to experts, contain signs of extremism and insults the feelings of believers. In addition, after searching the apartment of blogger, the investigation found a ballpoint pen with a hidden camera in the housing. This finding has led to the fact that Sokolovsky, among other things, accused in one episode according to the article 138 of the criminal code (trafficking of special technical means for secret obtaining of information) – use hidden camera.

At the time of trial Sokolovsky accused of committing 17 criminal episodes.

What is the reaction of the accused?

During the meeting on April 28 Ruslan Sokolovsky made the last word. The blogger admitted that he was shocked by the requested time: “I was in jail and realize that this is only a prelude to hell.”

Sokolovsky also said he still considers himself an atheist, a cosmopolitan and libertarian without any religion and nationality. According to videoblogger in prison, he met many believers and realized how vulnerable and sensitive they really are. Despite this blogger about religion have not changed. Some of the offended believers threatened Sokolowski rape. The reasons for this hate blogger doesn’t understand.

“I am not an extremist. I may be an idiot, but I am in no way an extremist. As told by the experts, is not my fault that I denied God, and that I denied God using math. And I don’t know since when the Mat is considered to be extremism”, – said Sokolowski, before thanking the public for their support.

Also, the blogger admitted that he knows, if he survives in prison and released after three and a half years, you will lose everything that he has now: work, school, girls.

“I hope, my last word will not be the last,” added Sokolowski.

Why Sokolovsky generally hunted in the temple?

In the summer of 2016, when the scandalous video Sokolovsky only beginning to gain popularity, many YouTube viewers were convinced that the main goal of the blogger is to cause as much “hype” (hype) around his person. In response to this, Sokolowski recorded another video, which explained his position: “Many people are accusing me that I pursue HYIP. But, you know, first, all bloggers are chasing the hype because it is the work of blogger. And secondly, if I really was chasing a HYIP, I would now filmed DIY (stands for Do It Yourself – “do it with your hands.” Sokolowski says on the popular online video-lessons hand-made approx.ed.), but not video, which I could go to jail. It just has a more difficult path”.Also, the blogger added that catching pokemon in the temple is, first and foremost, a protest against the law on insulting the feelings of believers: “We don’t have to live in a country where we are bound hand and foot because of some sectarians. Why do they come to schools and teach some “Word of God”, and we teach the theory of evolution in the churches have no right?”.

In addition, Sokolovsky assured his audience that to insult or humiliate any he was not going: “I wanted to draw attention to the problem of obscurantism, but not to insult any specific people. I, in fact, did nothing wrong – was in the temple with the phone. All”.

How to relate to the ongoing social network users?

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Leonid Volkov, head of the election headquarters of Alexei Navalny tweeted:

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Alexey Navalny, commenting on the severity of the sentence, wrote the following:

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Sports journalist Vasily Utkin and does put forward his own theory, which explains the drop in popularity of Pokemon Go:

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What is the “law on insulting the feelings of believers”?

Blasphemy laws exist in many countries. Their main task is to protect the citizens belonging to a particular faith from harassment. The attitude of legislators to the defamation of religion varies greatly from sentence to death for insulting Islam (Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia), or long imprisonment (Indonesia, Algeria, India) to complete absence of structure of a crime (European Union, USA).

In Russia up to 2013, the insult of feelings of believers was considered only an administrative offence. Under the ban got the deliberate desecration of the liturgical books and religious documents and ritual objects of special veneration: signs, emblems, slogans and symbols.

In early June 2013 the State Duma adopted the amendment to increase liability “for insulting the feelings of believers.” On 29 June, the law approved by the Federation Council entered into force. The most significant change was the establishment of criminal liability in the form of imprisonment for “public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed to insult the religious feelings of believers”.

expert Comments specifically for HIT.MEDIA:

Gleb Bogush

Gleb Bogush, PhD, associate Professor, faculty of law, HSE:

— I believe that this whole process is the unjustified use of criminal law and misappropriation of state resources needed for more important and useful purposes. For example, the fight against terrorism.

In Russia up to 2013, the insult of feelings of believers was considered only an administrative offence. Under the ban got the deliberate desecration of the liturgical books and religious documents and ritual objects of special veneration: signs, emblems, slogans and symbols.

In early June 2013 the State Duma adopted the amendment to increase liability “for insulting the feelings of believers.” On 29 June, the law approved by the Federation Council entered into force. The most significant change was the establishment of criminal liability in the form of imprisonment for “public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed to insult the religious feelings of believers”.

expert Comments specifically for HIT.MEDIA:

Gleb Bogush

Gleb Bogush, PhD, associate Professor, faculty of law, HSE:

— I believe that this whole process is the unjustified use of criminal law and misappropriation of state resources needed for more important and useful purposes. For example, the fight against terrorism.

Punishment Sokolowski requested by the representative of the state prosecution, is not only an act of extraordinary cruelty, but demand not in accordance with the law. In accordance with the Criminal code (article 60), the sentence must reflect the public danger of the crime and the identity of the perpetrator, take into account the influence of the appointed punishment on correction of the perpetrator and the living conditions of his family. Even if we agree that the actions Sokolowski contain structure of the crime to imprison a young person for a non – violent act- the measure is unjustified. Isolation from society is the exclusive means, especially in relation to persons not previously convicted. It is obvious that she is beyond any reasonable court of coercive measures. We should not forget that the requested sentence Sokolowski exceeds the maximum term of punishment for some kinds of murder (intentional killing of another person).

I’d like to remind the Prosecutor that the provisions of the Criminal code for him as required, both for the court and other state bodies. Of course, far beyond the powers of the Prosecutor are heard in the debate Sokolowski wishes to leave the state because he supposedly negatively related to it. A negative attitude to the state, not to mention the individual institutions, if it is not manifested in illegal actions, is not subject to criminal-legal assessment. Freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international law. Not the Prosecutor to decide where and how must the citizens of the Russian Federation.

The use of deprivation of liberty in the fight against free speech is futile and harmful.

The blog is in prison not jail. Unlike blogger, unfortunately.

read more:

The space above Crimea

Возвращением Крыма россияне гордятся больше, чем достижениями в космической области

Reading time 4 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

What happened?

“Levada-center” asked the citizens of Russia, what historical events and phenomena cause them to have pride and some shame. Similar surveys have been conducted since 1999. This year, the sociologists polled 1,600 people in 137 localities in the period from 20 to 23 January.

On the first line consistently kept the victory in the great Patriotic war. This year it was voted 83% of respondents. “The return of Crimea to the Russian Federation” as a possible answer was included in the questionnaire for the first time. This option took place immediately after the victory in 1945 over the Crimea voted by 43% of respondents.

The least the Russians are proud of their freedom (10%), the Soviet classless society (9%), pursuits of Russian saints (7%), moral authority of the Russian intelligentsia (7%) and restructuring (4%).

2% of respondents said that none of this makes them proud of their country.

Regarding shame, “eternal poverty and disorder” was on the first place in the list. Ashamed that 54% of respondents.

Very few are ashamed of the “spirit of slavery” (8%), military defeats in the country (5%), the desire to impose by force their system on other Nations (4%), Putin came to power (3%) and “national pride” (3%).

8% of respondents said that none of the shame they did not cause.

And as it was before?

As we have noted, since 1999 a leading position among the “pride” had the victory in the great Patriotic war.

Victory Day parade on red Square
the Victory Day parade on red Square

The first survey conducted by “Levada center” showed that Russians are more proud of:

  • with the country’s role in space exploration (60%)
  • achievements of domestic science (52%)
  • moral qualities of the Russian people (45%)
  • great travellers (33%)

Meanwhile, there was more and percentage of people who are ashamed of poverty and insecurity in the country (79% in 1999). Similarly, when the first survey was greater the percentage of citizens who were ashamed of the destruction of the Soviet Union (48%).

About the “Levada-center”

“Levada-center” – is a Russian non-governmental organization founded by sociologist Yuri Levada and directed on carrying out of sociological and marketing research.

According the Association of regional sociological centers “Group 7/89”, in 2015, “Levada-center” was in second position in the ranking of research companies.

In 2016, the Centre introduced in the register of noncommercial organizations performing functions of a foreign agent. The Ministry of justice has considered that the conduct of opinion polls, provide the public with the results and performances of representatives of the organization at seminars is a political activity.

Lev Gudkov, Director of the Center disagreed with this decision, saying that the organization intends to appeal.

At the moment, “Levada-center” continues to conduct and publish new surveys.

what students think?

We surveyed 60 students to determine what events in the history of the country they are proud of, and which events and phenomena are ashamed. Answers were taken from the questionnaire “Levada-center”. And here are the results of this mini-survey were different.

None of the students was not ashamed of the destruction of the USSR.

POLL