Topless women protest trial of former Ukrainian prime minister

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 16:27 EDT
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KIEV — Activists from Ukraine’s scandalous FEMEN group staged a topless protest Tuesday in a show of anger against the entire political class amid the trial against former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Two young women climbed on the roof of a police truck parked in the courthouse area and quickly stripped from the waist up, an AFP photographer reported from the scene.

“Everyone will be jailed, come in there is still space!” one of the girls yelled. After several minutes several riot policemen climbed onto the truck and with, visible difficulty, pulled them off the roof by hands and feet.

They were put into the same truck, which is used to transport protesters to the police station.

“We are against attempts to present this squabble between two criminal gangs as a battle between good and evil,” FEMEN said in a press release.

The group calls on Ukrainians to “fill the police trucks with bandits” from both the government and the opposition who have “ransacked Ukraine with impunity for 20 years” since its independence.

Arrested in early August, Tymoshenko is accused of abusing power while serving as prime minister in 2009 by authorising imports of Russian gas at elevated prices without government approval.

Tymoshenko dismisses these accusations as political repression orchestrated by her enemy Viktor Yanukovych, currently president.

FEMEN has gained worldwide fame by staging a string of topless protests in Ukraine in recent years to draw attention to issues from the exploitation of women to corruption.

Watch video, courtesy of Reuters, below:

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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