Free Belarus Now is joining actions near Belarusian Embassy in London
18:28, — Politics
Human rights activists gaather in protest in support of 'Teddy Attack' photographer Anton Suryapin.
On Monday 30th July from 1-2pm, Free Belarus Now is joining with other pro-democracy and freedom of speech campaign groups at the Belarusian embassy in London to shower it with pro-democracy teddy bears in an act of solidarity with Anton, Syarhei and the many other political prisoners still behind bars in Belarus for displeasing the regime.
Natalia Kaliada, co-founder of Free Belarus Now, said: “Of course, the Teddy Bears are a symbol. Children's toys can not change our lives, but they can inspire us to fight for our rights. Behind each toy is a real person, and the number of these people who care about the situation in Belarus, is increasing in different countries. The action of solidarity performed by the Swedish activists is the best evidence of it.
Since December the 19th, 2010 our goal has been the release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners, and we will use every method of non violent resistance to make it happen as quickly as possible.”
On 4th July in a pro-democracy stunt, a Swedish group flew into Belarusian airspace and dropped teddy bears wearing parachutes and carrying messages calling for freedom of expression. Until Thursday 25th July, the autocratic Belarusian Government denied that this event took place, they continued to do so having arrested and imprisoned Anton Suryapin, a student and freelance journalist who took photographs of the 'bear drop' and posted them online.
By Belarusian law, the KGB had until 23rd July to release Anton but he remains in a KGB jail. With him is Syarhei Basharymau, arrested earlier this month for speaking to the Swedes involved about renting an apartment to them, even though the transaction was never finalised and they in fact never met rented from him.