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'Police Detain Stuffed Animals' In Minsk Toy Protest

Toys speak out in Minsk.
Belarusian youth activists say police have "detained" some stuffed animals used in an antigovernment protest in Minsk, in an echo of similar recent protests in Russia.

This video shows activists from the civic campaign "Tell the Truth" placing a dozen fluffy toys in the snow and setting up placards around them bearing messages urging President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to "free the people!" or asking "Where is freedom of the press?" or declaring "Toys against lawlessness" and "Cops tore my eye out."

The campaign says the stuffed animals, placed near a bus stop on Minsk's Independence Square, were soon rounded up by the police. It adds that the toys "probably won't face charges, though it's clear there was a violation of the law against mass demonstrations."

The protest comes as authorities in a Siberian city clamped down on demonstrations using toys, following two such protests -- featuring Lego figurines, teddy bears, and Transformer toys -- last month.

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