Four Ukrainian FEMEN activists staged one of their trademark bare-breasted protests in Istanbul today, to demonstrate against domestic violence in Turkey. The four women wore make-up on their faces and bodies to make them appear battered, bruised and disfigured by acid. Standing in the midst of busy downtown Istanbul, they held up signs and banners and were quickly dragged away and detained by police. According to FEMEN’s Live Journal site, the activists are still in detention and have yet to be charged with a crime. They have not been allowed to talk to lawyers.
The FEMEN demonstation occurred only hours after a Turkish man reportedly shot a female relative, 40-year-old Diyar Bengitay — a mother of three — dead, according to the Associated Press via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The purpose of the FEMEN protest was to address violence against woman by making the “governments of Muslim countries in South Asia recognize the reality of genocide against women, to publicize such cases and severely punish the perpetrators.”
The FEMEN protest on International Women’s Day coincided with the Turkish government announcing a bill to “improve its image” by addressing domestic violence. The new bill would introduce “tough measures against abusers and provide improved protection for victims,” says the Hürriyet Daily News. The bill would also seek to stop “honor killings” and the murders of women deemed to have tarnished theirs and their family’s reputation due to a premarital relationship or to having a child out of wedlock.
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