Anton Surapin accused of aiding Swedes in illegal border crossing

The 20-year-old photographer whose news web site first released pictures of teddy bears dropped by the Swedish pilots is being kept in the KGB predetetion centre. He is facing up to seven years of imprisonment, Andrey Bastunets, Deputy Head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, said.

On July 13 after the search in Surapin’s flat the journalist was detained for three days in order to establish his involvement in the teddy bear troop drop, Anton’s mother, Alena Surapina, was told in the KGB. But his custody term has been extended to 10 day, Andrey Bastunets says.

“According to a duty lawyer, Surapin was first questioned on Monday, July 16 although he had been detained on July 13. the photographer has spent the weekend in the KGB predetention centre. Anton Surapin is suspected of abetting under Art. 371 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (intended illegal crossing the border of the Republic of Belarus by an organised group,” Bastunets mentions. Article 371-3 carries punishment of up to seven years’ imprisonment.

It is noteworthy that official Minsk has rebuted the fact that native air defense alert units did overlook the Swedish plane in the Belarusian air space. Belarusian servicemen called the video released online “fabricated”. The teddy-story evoked a wide public response and gave reason to doubt war readiness of the Belarusian air defense. A detailed presidential inspection of air defense near the Belarus-Lithuania border is believed to have started.


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