MINSK - A court in the Belarusian capital Minsk has ordered Belarus Komsomolskaya Pravda journalist Irina Kozlik to pay a fine in Belarusian rubles equivalent to $360 for holding a teddy bear photo session, a Belarusian Association of Journalists spokesman told Interfax.
“The court has established that Kozlik participated in a protest that
was not authorized by the Minsk city administration. A fine of 30 basic
units [some $360] was imposed on the Komsomolka journalist,” he said.
A hearing into the case of photographer Yulia Doroshevich continues, he said.
Kozlik and Doroshevich were detained by police outside the Arts
Palace in central Minsk on Wednesday while taking photos of teddy bears.
They were accused of staging an illegal protest and a protocol of
administrative offences was compiled against them.
Several Belarusian journalists have participated in different online
events and have had their photos taken with teddy bears since July, thus
demonstrating their support of journalist Anton Suryapin, who was
detained by the Belarusian State Security Committee after publishing
photos of teddy bears dropped by Swedish pilots over Minsk on his
website at the beginning of July.
The Belarusian media reported on July 4 that a lightweight civilian
airplane operated by Swedish citizens crossed the Belarusian airspace
from Lithuania and dropped teddy bears with labels calling for freedom
of speech in Belarus over Minsk and Ivenets, a town in the Minsk region.