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FEMEN rings the bell: Naked activists defend right to abortion (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Published time: April 10, 2012 18:02
Edited time: April 11, 2012 10:13

Activists of women's rights movement FEMEN shout slogans as they protest at the St. Sofia Cathedral in central Kiev April 10, 2012 (Reuters/Gleb Garanich; FEMEN video from vimeo.com)

Download video (12.21 MB)

Members of FEMEN, who are famous for staging controversial naked protests, switched from political issues and slashing domestic violence to defending Ukrainian women's right to abortion. They chose the country’s main Christian cathedral as a venue.

­Five FEMEN activists climbed to the Cathedral of St. Sophia in the center of Kiev to protest a proposed legislation that would ban abortions in Ukraine.

The girls got naked, rolled down banner “STOP” from the balcony of the cathedral and began ringing church bells to attract the attention of those passing by. They also shouted a slogan which can be translated as “our children – our choice.”

The Cathedral of St. Sophia is one of the main sightseeing attractions in Kiev, so security and police were not long in coming.

Four activists were detained and brought to the local police station, while one escaped.

On their blog, FEMEN claims that the moving force behind the legislation is the 'Christian community,' and that the goal of their action was to draw public attention to the conspiracy of church and state.

FEMEN activists are used to stripping out in the cold. This winter the group has carried out a series of politically-motivated naked protests throughout Europe. In most cases, girls were detained and released shortly after, but the protest in Belarus, FEMEN claims, ended up with Belarusian KGB officers kidnapping activists, threatening them with knives and cutting their hair.

Reuters/Gleb Garanich
Reuters/Gleb Garanich
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com
Photo from femen.livejournal.com

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