Two journalists were arrested in Minsk on the evening of August 8 for taking photographs with a teddy bear in their hands.
Photographer Yuliya Darashkevich and Iryna Kozlik, a staff writer with the Belarus version of the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, had been apprehended near the Palace of Art. They were said to be facing a charge of staging an unauthorized flashmob.
Teddy bears have become an unlikely symbol of fight for democracy in Belarus following mock "toy protests" held by opposition activists in Minsk and last month’s drop of teddy bears on Belarus by Swedish pilots in a pro-democracy stunt.
On July 4, a single-engine plane piloted by two representatives of Sweden's public relations agency Studio Total invaded Belarus' airspace and dropped hundreds of teddy bears with "pro-free speech" signs on the town of Ivyanets and Minsk before flying back to Lithuania unhindered.