Swedish trio called in over teddy row
STOCKHOLMThree Swedes behind the so-called “teddy bear” stunt in Belarus which is believed to have sparked a diplomatic row with Stockholm have been summoned by Minsk’s KGB security police, they said on Aug. 11.
“We’ve received a document from the KGB. ... Three of us have been asked to appear before the KGB,” Tomas Mazetti, the co-founder of the advertising agency that orchestrated the stunt, told Agence France-Presse. Swedish activists flew a plane over Belarus early last month and dropped hundreds of teddy bears attached to little parachutes carrying signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights.
The July 4 teddy bear drop by Studio Total infuriated Belarus’ autocratic President Alexander Lukashenko, who fired two generals over it. Earlier this month, Belarus effectively expelled Sweden’s ambassador and ordered the Nordic state to close its embassy.
The summons, signed by an investigator named P. Tsernavsky and posted on the KGB’s website, says the agency is investigating the “criminal case” of the ad group’s “illegal crossing” into Belarusian airspace, the Associated Press reported. The KGB said it wants the Swedes to participate in its “investigative actions” so it can clarify the role each person played and help it decide how to deal with two Belarusian men accused of aiding the Swedes. If the Swedes don’t show up within 10 days, the agency said they could face a fine or “correctional work for up to two years, or imprisonment for up to six months.”