Saturday, August 18, 2012

Teddy Bear's Picnic

Isn't this going just a tad too far?
Belarus has withdrawn its ambassador to Sweden and its entire embassy staff, in the latest round of tense moves, following an arrival of teddy bears via parachute!!!
The announcement followed moves last week by both Belarus and Sweden to remove several diplomats from each other's embassies. Officials have not directly linked the dismissals to the teddy bear protest, but...
The Teddy Bear drama began in early July when two Swedish activists in a small plane dropped hundreds of teddy bears over several cities. The toys had messages, urging Belarus to show greater respect for human rights.
The Belarusian government was too embarrassed to confirm the event for three weeks, when it stated that the Swedes had crossed Lithuania into heavily guarded Belarusian airspace without permission. Two top defence officials were fired after its border guards failed to intercept the plane.
Teddy Bear activists Tomas Mazetti
and Hannah Frey
Several citizens who supported the Teddy Bear Activists were arrested, while the pair (who work for a Swedish advertising firm...hmmmmm...) are wanted for questioning on charges of trespassing. It's not known if the actual teddy bears are in custody..!
Ties between Belarus and Western Europe have grown increasingly strained over Belarus's human-rights record: both the EU and US have sanctions in effect.
But a diplomatic incident over teddy bears...? Puuh-leez!

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