News24

Topless women protest poll

2010-02-07 16:16

Kiev - Four young women naked from the waist up barged into a Ukrainian polling station on Sunday and held a rowdy protest just before a candidate in the country's presidential election cast his ballot there.

The women, members of a small feminist group called Femen known for staging eye-catching protests, were hustled out of the Kiev polling station by security guards before Viktor Yanukovich showed up to vote, an AFP photographer saw.

"Enough raping our democracy!" shouted the protesters, who held signs with slogans such as "Help! Rape!" and wore nothing except for jeans and strips of green electrical tape over their nipples.

The women told reporters they were protesting "the end of democracy" in Ukraine and not specifically against Yanukovich or in favour of his rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The two candidates fought a bitter election campaign and many Ukrainians say they are with frustrated with the choice, amid deep disillusionment with the country's protracted political stalemate and economic crisis.

Femen, whose members are mostly university students, drew international attention last summer by holding a protest against Ukraine's sex tourism trade where activists picketed in central Kiev wearing bras and panties.