19.09.2012 / 17:54

Anton Surapin Allowed to Return to Minsk

The Committee of State Security (KGB) has allowed young photographer Anton Surapin to move from Sluck to Minsk pending a criminal investigation against him.

KGB investigators had absolutely no objections to my move, he said. I arrived in Minsk yesterday and will stay with my friend until I find an apartment.

Mr. Surapin, a fourth-year student at Belarusian State University (BSU)'s Journalism Institute, said that he would resume his studies on October 1 and expressed hope that the criminal case against him would soon be closed.

The 20-year-old Surapin was arrested following a July 4 incident in which two representatives of Sweden's ad agency Studio Total illegally flew a small plane from Lithuania to Belarus and dropped teddy bears containing pro-human rights messages.

Mr. Surapin, who posted pictures of the teddy bears on his website titled Belarusian News Photos, was charged by the Belarusian KGB with complicity in the illegal crossing into Belarusian airspace.

On August 17, Mr. Surapin was released on his own recognizance and banned from leaving Sluck, a city of 60,000 residents 65 miles south of Minsk where he lives with his parents.