Belarus opposition activists in new teddy bear protest
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||2 August 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Belarus opposition activists in new teddy bear protest, 2 August 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5022287ac.html [accessed 16 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
August 02, 2012
Activists have placed several teddy bears in Minsk's city center with placards demanding the release of two activists arrested over a teddy-bear air drop last month.
On July 4, a Swedish plane flew over Belarus from neighboring Lithuania and dropped teddy bears over Minsk accompanied by texts supporting Belarusian dissidents and the country's opposition.
Anton Surapin was arrested for placing photos of the teddy bears on the Internet and Syarhey Basharymau was detained for providing Swedish organizers of the stunt with accommodation in Minsk.
The teddy bears placed by activists on August 2 were dressed in paratroopers' striped underwear, as in Belarus, Russia, and some other former Soviet countries, August 2 is marked as Paratroopers Day.
On July 31, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka sacked two top military officials over the incident.