In a first, Ukrainian topless protesters Femen face a criminal case in their home country, though not over their practice of stripping in public for a good cause.
A group of unnamed Femen activists may end up in prison for up to four years over climbing onto the balcony of the residence of the Indian ambassador in Kyiv and tearing down the Indian flag, local police said on Friday.
The activists were enraged by the Indian Foreign Ministry ordering thorough checks into all Ukrainians aged 15 to 40 seeking to enter the country, saying it would help weed out the numerous prostitutes in search of a job.
The protesters tore down the Indian flag, beat it about doors and windows and threw it on the ground. Despite temperatures of minus 4 degrees Celsius, all of them were topless.
The incident resulted in two cases opened on separate charges of hooliganism and desecration of state symbols, Ukrainian police said. No one was charged as of Friday evening.
Femen, media darlings due to their methods of protests, have been active since 2008, staging political protests in Ukraine and outside the country. The group declared freedom of speech and protection of women’s rights as its goals.
Group members never faced criminal cases before, getting away with fines or brief arrests. However, hapless activists who tried to stage a protest against the authoritarian ruler of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, in December reported severe abuse by local KGB, which beat them up, shaved them bald, stripped them naked and threw them out in a forest. The KGB denied the incident.