Femen activists, adviser are beaten

AFP-JIJI

The head of the Ukrainian feminist movement Femen alleged Sunday that she and two other activists of the group, known for its topless protests, were beaten by special forces.

Anna Hutsol described the attack late Saturday as “planned by Ukrainian Special Services” in an attempt to scare the women into ceasing their protests.

Hutsol said that she was beaten along with another leading activist, Alexandra Shevchenko, and Viktor Svyatskiy, a male consultant to the group, as they walked out of an apartment building in the Black Sea port city of Odessa.

“My face is beaten up, I have bruises to my chest and back. The blows knocked me out for a time,” Hutsol said, adding that the other activists suffered similar injuries.

The group published a photograph of Svyatskiy with blood running down his forehead and cheek sitting in the back of an ambulance with Hutsol after the alleged attack, the fifth targeting Femen in recent months.

The group said it had asked Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko to provide its members with bodyguards.

Femen’s female activists have become well-known in Ukraine and abroad for baring their breasts to protest discrimination against women and other rights violations.