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OSCE Calls For 'Teddy Bear' Charges Against Belarusian Journalist To Be Dropped

Anton Surapin (file photo)
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) representative on media freedom, Dunja Mijatovic, has asked the Belarusian authorities to drop charges against a blogger.

Mijatovic's appeal was for Anton Surapin, who faces up to seven years in prison for uploading photos of teddy bears that had been dropped by plane into Belarus.

Surapin was arrested last month after posting photos of bears dropped from a Swedish plane in the Minsk area accompanied by texts supporting Belarusian dissidents and the country’s opposition.

Belarus expelled the Swedish ambassador last week and announced on August 8 it was withdrawing all staff from the Belarusian Embassy in Stockholm over the incident.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry also told Stockholm to withdraw its diplomats in Minsk.

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