feminists claim beatings after ‘topless’ protest

Activists from women's rights group FEMEN look out from a window during a court session in Kyiv.

Activists from women's rights group Femen in Kyiv. Photo: Reuters

A court in Kyiv fined three activists of Femen, the Ukrainian feminist organisation known for its bare-breasted protests, and a Russian photojournalist, and released them after their weekend arrest.

Femen said the women had been beaten and kidnapped when they were arrested and had been targeted by Ukraine's security service, the SBU, to prevent protests during a visit to Kyiv by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church, who have been accosted by Femen members in the past.

Police said the women, Oksana Shachko, Alexandra Shevchenko, and Yana Zhdanova, were detained by a patrol car after officers spotted them naked and arrested them for ''petty hooliganism'' after they failed to cover up. The photo-journalist, Dmitry Kostyukov, was accused of disobeying police orders.

Kostyukov told the Russian television channel Dozhd on Sunday that all the women had been clothed and that he and they were attacked and beaten by 15 to 20 men in plain clothes as he was photographing the activists outside an apartment building.

Sunday's fines were small, the equivalent of about $11 for each woman and $17 for Kostyukov, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported. Femen's leader, Anna Hutsol, said she was attacked twice on the weekend, her dog was kidnapped and she was beaten in the face.

''This is not possible in a normal, democratic country,'' she said in a telephone interview. ''More and more we are resembling Russia and Belarus.''

Femen also reported last Thursday that Victor Svyatskiy, a political scientist who is affiliated with the organisation, was beaten on Wednesday and warned by his attackers that similar measures would be used against other activists.

Via: watoday.com.au

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The mission of the "FEMEN" movement is to create the most favourable conditions for the young women to join up into a social group with the general idea of the mutual support and social responsibility, helping to reveal the talents of each member of the movement.

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