Three Ukrainian activists from the women's rights group Femen
, infamous for staging topless political protests, have claimed that they were kidnapped and tortured by the KGB in Belarus. The three women stripped to the waist, to make a stand outside the KGB Headquarters in Minsk on Monday, in protest over the regime of long-serving Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
reported that following the protest Inna Shevchenko, Oksana Shachko and Alexandra Nemchinova, disappeared. They were found in a Belarusian forest on Tuesday. According to Rferl
the women claim they were abducted on Monday from a Minsk bus station by six men who were from the Belarus police and KGB.
Recounting their ordeal Shevchenko said
"We were blindfolded and put into a bus. Then they took us to the woods, poured oil over us, forced us to undress – threatening to set fire to us or stab us with knives. They later used those knives to cut our hair.”
The women were taken to a local hospital in Belarus to be examined, where doctors found bruises on their bodies. Femen's leader, Anna Hutsol, said "They are alive but not in good health. They are very scared."
The Foreign Ministry in Belarus has denied that any officials detained the Femen activists, but there has been no official response to the allegations of kidnapping and torture. The KGB has refused to comment.