Back in August, popular Russian YouTuber Ruslan Sokolovsky posted a video of himself playing Pokémon Go in the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg. He wanted to show viewers that people could be arrested for playing the popular game in a church, even though there was no harm in what they were doing.
And then he was arrested for playing the popular game in a church.
Sokolovsky was charged with “inciting hatred and offending religious sensibilities.” If convicted, he faced a five year prison sentence.
Yesterday, a Russian court said Sokolovsky would have to remain in jail for three months while all this gets sorted out because he violated the rules of his house arrest.
Yekaterinburg’s Kirovsky district court ruled Friday that Sokolovsky be held behind bars in a pre-trial detention centre until next January after violating the rules of his house arrest, RIA Novosti state news agency reported, quoting his lawyer.
Lawyer Alexei Bushmakov said the closed court hearing ordered Sokolovsky’s jailing on the request of investigators because his fiancee had come to visit him for his birthday.
He still faces several years in prison.
All this because he dared to play a game in a local church.
Blasphemy, it has been said, is a victimless crime. Sokolovsky’s actions hurt nobody. And it’s appalling that religious leaders aren’t calling for his immediate release.