Location Russia Russia

Kremlin ignores freedom of conscience violation

Two weeks ago Russian court sentenced a young man Ruslan Sokolovsky, who was carried away by the game “PokeGo” and caught Pokemon in the church. The court found him guilty of insulting the feelings of believers and sentenced to a conditional conclusion. The basis for the verdict was not only the very fact of entertainment in the Orthodox Church, but also video recordings from his personal blog.
The Russian service of the BBC has brought several fragments from the verdict. Among them were: “[Sokolovsky’s videos] contain information that contains signs of insulting the feelings of adherents of Christianity and Islam, formed through the denial of the existence of God,” [the blogger] denies the existence of Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad, thus committed the crime envisaged in part 1 of Article 148 of the Criminal Code. ”
The verdict aroused indignation of the authoritative Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner, who does not hide his atheistic convictions. In his blog he wrote that he wants to get an explanation, does he have a legal right to be an atheist in Russia or is it criminal? “Perhaps the Patriarch Cyril will say whether I offend his religious feelings, claiming that there is no God? Perhaps the chairman of the Constitutional Court will tell me if I have the right to think what I think and express what I say? Maybe the head of state will make it clear whether the court is waiting for me,” – the journalist wrote.
In response, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church expressed doubts in the depth of the journalist’s intelligence, and Dmitry Peskov, the Russian presidential press secretary, refused to condemn the violation of the principle of freedom of conscience, which the Russian court admitted.
Instead, Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on Pozner’s question at all. According to him, this is a rhetorical question that falls within the competence of Russian courts and has nothing to do with the president.

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