After his extradition from Russia to Belarus, the kickboxer Alexej Kudin was sentenced to two and a half years in a prison camp. The multiple world champion admitted an attack on two security forces during protests against ruler Alexander Lukashenko.
Minsk – He did this for self-defense, the human rights group Wesna quoted the 36-year-old athlete from the courtroom on Wednesday. He was arrested in the city of Maladseschna, where he was also beaten with clubs by the police. Before the trial, which was initially scheduled for mid-November, he fled to Russia. Moscow extradited him. According to Wesna, the European Court of Human Rights had banned this because of the threat of torture.
For weeks, courts in the authoritarian country have been imprisoning members of the opposition and those who think differently. After the presidential election a year ago, which was widely regarded as falsified, there were mass protests against Lukashenko that lasted for months, some of which were violently suppressed. The EU no longer recognizes the 66-year-old as president.
Meanwhile, the friend of the blogger Roman Protassevich, who was arrested in Belarus, gave an interview to state television for the first time. “So far, it’s too early to talk about my plans, but I’m feeling a lot better right now,” said Sofia Sapega, who, like her friend, is under house arrest. She is still in the process of understanding the situation. Most recently Protassevich had been shown several times.
On May 23, the authorities forced a Ryanair passenger plane flying from Athens to Vilnius to make a stopover in Minsk. The blogger and opposition activist Protassevich, who was traveling on the plane, and his girlfriend were then arrested there. (dpa)