FEMEN: Topless protesters will return to Belarus despite being beaten and abused

FEMEN: Topless protesters will return to Belarus despite being beaten and abused

Kiev : Ukraine | Dec 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM PST
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FEMEN topless women protests; FEMEN in Ukraine, Moscow, Paris, Zurich, Vatican; Bradley Manning

Worldwide known Ukraine-based feminist group Femen remains determined to hold more topless protests in Belarus despite being abused by the KGB officers, the activists announced.

"We promise that we will continue coming to Belarus, undress and defeat the Lukashenka regime…We have not regretted our decision to travel to Belarus for a single second despite what happened to us there," Inna Shevchenko told reporters after her return to Kiev.

Schevchenko was one of the three Femen activists who were kidnapped and abused after their topless protest in front of the KGB headquarters in Minsk. According to her and her colleagues, the women were kidnapped, blinded folded and driven to the woods, where they were tortured by the men, who they believe were Belarusian KGB officers. During the ride, the men interrogated them, asking who invited the women to Minsk and if they got any funds from the European Union to finance the protest.

“They poured green antiseptic on our heads, and then cut off some of my hair with a knife,” Shevchenko said at the press conference, showing her green colored hair.

Oxana Shachko, another activist who was also arrested, said the women feared they would be sexually assaulted: “Then they told us to take our clothes off from the waist down and to turn around. This was the most horrible moment because we thought they’re going to rape us now.”

The activists were also forced to hold Nazi flags and say they would never return to Belarus, and the whole ordeal was filmed. Finally, they were left in the woods with no clothes, money or phones. The villagers and local police who found them alerted Ukrainian embassy, which arranged their return to Kiev.

The Belarusian authorities haven’t yet commented on Femen activists’ claims.

The women held topless protest on December 19, the first anniversary of President Alexander Lukashenko's disputed re-election. In Belarus, „offending president” is a criminal offence, which can be punished with two to four years in prison. Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, is often reffered to as the last European dictator.

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Femen Activists Speak Out About KGB Torture
Photo: REUTERS/Vasily FedosenkoOksana Shachko and Inna Shevchenko from Ukraine's Femen group speak to the media at a hospital in the small town of Elsk, about 206 miles (330 km) southeast of Minsk, on December 20, 2011.
Ljubica Vujadinovic is based in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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