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Runaway MMA fighter sentenced to prison term over “violent resistance” to police

2021 2021-08-11T14:00:05+0300 2021-08-11T14:00:06+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Belarusian MMA fighter Aliaksei Kudzin. Photo: Match TV

Belarusian MMA fighter Aliaksei Kudzin. Photo: Match TV

Aliaksei Kudzin, Belarusian MMA fighter and multiple world champion in kickboxing and Thai boxing, has been sentenced to two and a half years in a general-security penal colony on charges of “resistance to a police officer or other officer in charge of public order enforcement, associated with the use of or threat of violence” (Part 2 of Art. 363 of the Criminal Code).

Judge Volha Dubovik of the Maladziečna District Court found Kudzin guilty of using violence against two police officers during a post-election protest in August 2020. The defendant admitted hitting the officers, but stressed that it was self-defense.

Aliaksei Kudzin was detained shortly after the incident and spent two weeks in a local detention facility and later in the pre-trial detention center in Žodzina. The athlete was eventually released to wait for the trial under travel restrictions. The first hearing was scheduled for November 19, but the defendant did not appear in court, and he was declared wanted by the Belarusian authorities.

Aliaksei Kudzin (wearing a light T-shirt and a black cap, second from left) during the dispersal of a post-election protest in Maladziečna on August 10, 2020. Photo:

On January 21, Kudzin was detained in Moscow at the request of the Belarusian police and placed in a pre-trial detention center. It was decided to extradite him to Belarus. On June 25, the Moscow Regional Court rejected Kudzin’s defense attorneys’ appeal against the extradition decision. In July, the European Court of Human Rights ordered a stay of Kudzin’s extradition. Despite this, on July 21, the fighter was transported to Minsk.

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