Aliaksei Kudzin

MMA fighter, sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison; served full term; released

Date of birth: 20 December 1984

Date of detention: 21 January 2021

Charges indicted:

Art. 363 of the Criminal Code — Resistance to a police officer or other person guarding public order

Sentence: 2 1/2 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Date of release: 28 December 2022

Judge: Volha Dubovik

Aliaksei Kudzin is a Belarusian MMA fighter and multiple world champion in kickboxing and Thai boxing.

Kudzin was detained on August 10, 2020 shortly after a violent clash with the police during a protest in Maladziečna. He spent two weeks in a local detention facility and later in the pre-trial detention center in Žodzina, afcing charges of using violence against police officers. 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.

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.

On August 11, 2021, Kudzin was 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).

On November 2, the Minsk Regional Court upheld the verdict.

In early December 2021, Kudzin was reported to have been transfered from remand prison #8 in Žodzina, Minsk region, to the penal colony in Škloŭ, Mahilioŭ region.

The political prisoner served his full term and in late December 2022 was released from penal colony #17.

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