Russian Pokemon Go Blogger Has Sentence Reduced

Sokolovsky was arrested for a series of videos he uploaded to YouTube in August 2016, which the police deem “extremist” and “offensive to religious believers' feelings.” Sokolovsky! / YouTube

A Russian blogger who was sentenced to over three years for filming himself playing Pokemon Go in an Orthodox cathedral has had his sentenced reduced, the RBC news outlet reported Friday.

A Yekaterinburg Court reduced Ruslan Sokolovsky’s sentence to a suspended term of two years and three months, instead of the 3 1/2 years he was handed down in May.

Sokolovksy uploaded a video of himself playing the popular online game in Yekaterinburg’s Church of All Saints last summer.

After being arrested in September 2016, he was found guilty of “offending the feelings of religious believers.” The court ruled he had incited religious hatred in eight other videos he uploaded to YouTube between May 2013 and September 2016.  

A local judge on Friday removed one of the guilty verdicts from Sokolovksy’s sentence. Investigators previously claimed that Sokolovsky used a ballpoint pen with a hidden camera to illegally collect information.

Amnesty International considers Sokolovsky, who has been under house arrest since February, a prisoner of conscience. The blogger’s defense has also already filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights.

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