How would you feel about potentially facing a year in prison for writing that you don’t believe in God on the Internet? Because that’s precisely what’s happening to one man in Russia.
Back in 2014, a man called Viktor Krasnov posted ‘there is no God’ on a social media site, which led two young men to call the police and report him, reports the BBC.
They told police that they objected to his choice of language in an argument on the Russian social network VKontakte.
Subsequently, he was charged for having ‘insulted the feelings of worshippers’.
What Mr Krasnov’s actually wrote on the site was:
If I say that the collection of Jewish fairy tales entitled the Bible is complete bullshit, that is that. At least for me. There is no God!
To insult the feelings of worshippers became illegal in Russia in 2013 after the Pussy Riot controversy, which led to two punk performers being sent to labour camps, after they performed a supposedly insulting song in a Moscow cathedral.
Krasnov’s trial began last month where, in true dystopian fashion, he spent a full month in a psychiatric ward last year undergoing examinations before he was finally deemed sane.
Krasnov’s lawyer insisted that his client was ‘simply an atheist’.
If Krasnov is not sentenced to a year in prison then he will have to pay a fine of up to 300,000 roubles (£2,900) or perform up to 240 hours of forced labour.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.