On July 15, 2013, the Belarusian Association of Journalists received an official reply to its inquiry of June 11, 2013 from the KGB. Read More
What has changed in life of Anton Suriapin after he was arrested for participating in Teddybear Airdrop Minsk 2012? On July 13 last year, the militia searched the journalism student’s home, after which Anton in fact simply disappeared. He decided not to give more interviews on the subject, but told a little bit about what he is currently doing to Belarusian “Radio Svoboda”. Read More
The KGB’s main spokesman Arthur Strecha has informed that KGB halted criminal proceedings against Surapin and Basharymau. Read More
The campaign was started on August 14. Within three days dozens of chief editors of Belarusian and foreign mass media, media persons, public figures and BAJ members signed the petition to dismiss criminal charges against Anton Surapin and to stop persecution of journalists for their professional activities. Read More
The 20-year-old Anton Surapin, a fourth-year student at the Belarusian State University`s Journalism Institute, was arrested following a July 4 incident in which two representatives of Sweden’s ad agency Studio Total illegally flew a small plane from Lithuania to Belarus and dropped teddy bears containing pro-human rights messages. Anton was released from prison on his own recognizance but was banned from leaving his place of residence. He was soon to start doing work experience in TUT.BY. Read More
Anton was born on 28 February 1990 in Sluck. He is an editor of the bnp.by and a student of the Institute of Journalism of the Belarusian State University. A member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
Chronicle of repression
Surapin was prosecuted for criminal complicity for uploading photographs of the 4 July 2012 airdrop of teddy bears with pro-democracy messages over the Belarusian territory. The stunt was organized by a Swedish advertising agency to promote freedom of expression. The bears carried miniature posters demanding freedom of expression in the country, including “We demand protection of human rights in Belarus!”, “We can’t be made silent!” and “Free speech now!”.
Surapin was the first person to upload photos of the stunt. He was arrested on 13 July.
Anton and Siarhiej Basharymau, a real estate agent who was accused for letting an apartment to one of the Swedes, were both charged under the article 371, part 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (illegal crossing of the state border of the Republic of Belarus). Surapin has also been charged under the Criminal Code for helping the two pilots of the light aircraft that dropped the teddy bears to enter the Belarusian air space illegally.
Surapin was released on 17 August and taken to his home in the town of Slutsk south of Minsk by KGB agents. He was banned from leaving his place of residence.
Belarus has taken strong diplomatic action against Sweden following a stunt involving parachuted teddy bears. Belarus expelled Swedish ambassador Stefan Eriksson, known for his open support for civil society in the country. And although President Lukashenko himself denied the connection between sending a Swedish diplomat and the stunt, but commentators agree that the teddy bears were at least a pretext for getting rid of the only Belarusian-speaking EU ambassador.
On 28 June 2013, the first deputy of KGB Ihar Siarhienka issued the decision to close the investigation into the “teddy bear bombing.”
The international human rights organization released a statement in connection with the release of Syarhei Basharymau and Anton Surapin on their own recognizance.
Both men were accused under Article 16 (“participation in a crime”) and Article 371 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (“illegal crossing of the state border of the Republic of Belarus”), the statement reads. Both could face up to seven years in prison, Radio Svaboda reports. Read More
Young people remain the defendants in the case of “Teddy troopers”. Anton Surapin himself called the press-service of the NGO “Belarusian Association of Journalists” at 20.30 from Slutsk, reports the website of the organization. He is under house arrest and a confidentiality agreement. Read More
The collection of signatures in support of the release of Anton Surapin and Siarhei Basharymau started on this webpage not long ago. Change.org has been inaccessible in Belarus since August 12. Meanwhile, you can access the website with the help of foreign proxy servers without any problems. Read More
Human Rights Defenders join the campaign of the Belarusian Association of Journalists for the release of Siarhei Basharymau and Anton Surapin
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” joined the initiative of the Belarusian Association of Journalists aimed at the change of the restraint to journalist Anton Surapin who has been kept in the pre-trial prison of the KGB since 13 July. The human rights defenders also solicit for the change of the restraint to real estate agent Siarhei Basharymau, who, together with Surapin, received charges of assistance to unlawful crossing of the state boundary of the Republic of Belarus (Part 6 of Article 16 and Part 3 of Article 371 of the Criminal Code) and their release on bail. Read More