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Three Ukrainian activists return home after abuse at the hands of police in Belarus.

Aleksandra Nemchinova, Inna Shevchenko, and Oksana Shechko are activists of the Women’s Movement ‘FEMEN’. They were abducted by KGB security officers (Belarus didn't bother rebranding its political police) during a protest against Belarus’ authoritarian president, beaten, humiliated and left naked in a forest. Femen is a Ukrainian protest group based in Kiev, founded in 2008. They have become known for topless protests against social, national and international struggles. The group believes in promoting leadership, intellectual and moral qualities in women. The three activists spoke to the media on Wednesday(21st) about their experience.

They were protesting in Minsk on Monday (19th) over President Aleksander Lukashenko's suppression of the opposition. They bared their breasts in protest wanting to bring attention to Belarus' very own despot . After the protest they were taken into a nearby woods by Belarusian security forces where they were interrogated for 12 hours, stripped of their clothes in below zero temperatures, covered in paint, had some of their hair cut off, smacked in the face, punched in the back and told they were going to be killed and raped. Later on they were forced to sit on a bus where they were not allowed to move or speak and were prevented from doing so by being beaten. In the end of their ordeal the three activists were left semi naked in the forest where they were eventually aided by locals in the area and contacted the Ukrainian embassy.

The protest in Minsk took place on the steps of the KGB headquarters, and it is one of many demonstrations against Lukanshensko. Lukanshensko became leader of the former Soviet republic in 1994 and has repressed opposition, dissent and independent media ever since. (See SchNEWS 765, 757). Scechko, 24, said “It was a real fight for survival, we ended up in the hands of the butchers who kill and terrify the Belarusian people.”

There are 3 comments on this story...
Added By: Ciaran Rehill - 23rd December 2011 @ 3:27 PM
It is KBD.
Added By: Anonymous - 24th December 2011 @ 7:19 PM
It kept its name (State Security Committee) after collapse of the Soviet Union. Technically in Belarusian it is KDB (Kamitet Dejarzhaǔnay Bjaspeki) but it still gets called KGB too.
Added By: Saed - 1st May 2012 @ 3:00 PM
Ukraine will never be a Free Independent Democratic Stet as long as it is beholden to a prdtneeisial rule.Ukraine has struggled since independence to adopt a Parliamentary system of governments as enjoyed in Britain. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko opposed Ukraine becoming a democracyLatvia and Estonia are both former Soviet States and they correctly adopted a parliamentary model. Both are now successful EU member states. Ukraine on the other hand retained the Soviet Style Autocratic Presidential system.One of the most significant achievements of the Orange revolution was the Constitutional reforms of 2004 which saw Ukraine take a step forward towards becoming a Parliamentary democracy. The main problem is it still retained Presidential authority which lead to power struggle between the head of state and the peoples democratically elected Parliament.Viktor Yushchenko continually sought to undermine political stability and Ukraine's democratic development. His dismissed Ukraine's previous Parliament in 2007 in order to prevent the Parliament from securing support for further constitutional reform and removal of Presidential power. Reform that would have seen Ukraine become more like Britain. He even went as far as deliberately interfering with the operations and independence of Ukraine's Constitutional court in order to prevent the Court from ruling against his decree. Yushchenko's actions were illegal and unconstitutional and caused seven months of political and civil unrest. Yanukovych since being elected President has acted to consolidate prdtneeisial authority, going so far as seeking a Constitutional Court ruling nullifying the constitutional reforms introduced in 2004. (Interested readers should read the unprecedented review of the Courts deliberations undertaken by the European Venice Commission)Britain's system of Parliamentary democracy is the corner stone if its success along with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and the majority of EU states.
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