Two Belarusian Showmen Detained And Sentenced To 10 Days Of Arrest

On 2 September, showmen and TV hosts Denis Dudinsky and Dmitry Kokhno, who had previously worked at state television but publicly criticised police brutality against peaceful protesters, were detained in Minsk. Their families were not informed of the reasons for their detention, as well as what kind of security forces were involved in it.

Next day both Denis Dudinsky and Dmitry Kokhno were sentenced to 10 days of arrest.


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Вядучыя з народам!

Публикация от Дмитрий Кохно (@kohnoby)

A time and a place where the cases of TV hosts would be considered were unknown throughout the day. Dmitry Kokhno’s pregnant wife Nadezhda found out that his case were submitted to the Pervomaisky district court half an hour before the appointed time.

The case was being considered by Judge Trusevich. Kokhno gave testimony via video link while being held cage. Only his wife and mother, as well as five journalists, could be present in the courtroom – the office could not fit more people.

At the beginning of the trial, Dmitry asked for a mitigation of punishment: he has a two-year-old son at home, his wife is in the last month of pregnancy, and his 84-year-old grandmother needs care.

According to the report, on 23 August, from 3.30 pm to 4.15 pm, Dmitry Kokhno “deliberately violated the order of the street procession along Pobediteley Avenue in order to publicly express his socio-political views”, and shouted the “TV hosts with the people” slogan.

He fully admitted his guilt. Dmitry confirmed that he had participated in the march to express his civic position, and shouted only one slogan. Then lawyer Anton Gashinsky asked a clarifying question about the circumstances of Kokhno’s detention.

“I left the entrance to put my jacket in the car. I opened the trunk and the door. When I was hanging up my jacket, I turned my head and saw some eight people in military uniform with rifles. They put me face down on the floor, wrung my hands. […] Everything happened in a blink of an eye: I was in the car on my knees, handcuffed,” he recalled.

Video of the arrest of Dmitry Kokhno:


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Публикация от Надя Кохно (@nadyakohno)

Dmitry Kokhno also noted that no physical or psychological violence was used against him. As evidence, police officers attached a photo from Dmitry’s Instagram account, where he is depicted with a white-red-white flag.

– Do you see it? – the judge showed a color photo in the case file.

– Yes, I just don’t see the number of likes, – Dmitry smiled.

The lawyer asked not to impose an arrest-related sentence, since Dmitry is not dangerous to society, and at this moment his family needs him at large. As a result, without even retiring to the conference room, judge Maksim Trusevich issued a ruling: 10 days of administrative arrest.

Denis Dudinsky’s case was also considered at the Pervomaisky district court. The independent observers who were on duty in the court could only find out that he was given 10 days of arrest for participating in an unauthorized event.

Denis Dudinsky with his wife at one of the protests in Minsk. Photo: instagram.com/dudinski_denis

What kind of event he was accused of, on what day and time it happened, as well as who testified against him, remain unknown.

The lawyer was not present at the trial. Recall that the right to defense is guaranteed by the Constitution of Belarus. Denis Dudinsky is in the temporary detention center on Okrestsin Street.