Fri, 06 Aug 2021

MOSCOW -- A court in Moscow has postponed an extradition hearing of Alyaksey Kudzin, a Belarusian champion kickboxer who is wanted in Minsk for taking part in mass protests against Belarus's authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The Moscow Regional Court was scheduled to start Kudzin's hearing on June 18. But it postponed the session for one week after Belarusian human rights organizations and the Moscow Helsinki Group demanded that the court reject Belarus's extradition request.

The court said it would start the hearing after it receives a document from Russia's Foreign Ministry about 'the situation around human rights in Belarus.'

Kudzin is a world champion in kickboxing and muaythai (Thai boxing). He is wanted by authorities in Belarus for allegedly resisting law enforcement officials.

Last August, Kudzin took part in mass protests in the city of Maladechna near Minsk. The protest was called to challenge official presidential election results that handed a sixth term to Lukashenka.

Kudzin was arrested at the time and sentenced to several days in jail.

SEE ALSO: World Champion Kickboxer May Face 'Torture, Repression And Even Death' If Extradited From Russia To Belarus

A criminal investigation was launched against him later. But Kudzin fled the country instead of showing up for his trial in Minsk last November.

He first stayed in France. In early 2021 he was arrested at Minsk's request upon his arrival in Russia.

Belarusian authorities filed their extradition request with Russian officials in February.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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