Topless Ukraine feminists protest Iranian woman’s death sentence

Thursday, November 11, 2010

KIEV - A group of female protesters went topless in Ukraine Thursday at an event promoting Iranian culture, to demonstrate against the death sentence handed down to a woman in Iran for murder and adultery.

Five members of the Ukrainian group Femen tore off their clothing and shouted slogans against what they called court-sanctioned murder during the event at Kiev’s Ukrainian House convention centre, which featured hundreds of Ukrainian and Iranian dignitaries.

“Don’t kill women!” one Femen activist shouted.

Security guards expelled the protesters after a scuffle.

A Ukrainian official later apologised to the audience for the disturbance, saying “at least we don’t have to be ashamed about what we have on display.”

The case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to death by stoning, has sparked international protests. Iranian authorities have said that her case is under review.

Femen is one of Ukraine’s best-known political action groups. Its members routinely take their clothes off to draw attention to their causes, which include equal rights for women and the introduction of a Western-style government in Ukraine.

The event that the group targeted Thursday was part of a cultural exchange programme launched by Iran’s embassy in Kiev a day earlier, called “Week of Iranian Culture in Ukraine.”

The two countries’ governments have good relations, with state-owned companies cooperating in aerospace and energy.

Filed under: Immigration, World

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