Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

France

France grants asylum to Ukrainian Femen activist

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-07-08

The head of the French branch of the radical feminist group Femen, Ukrainian Inna Shevchenko, was granted political asylum in France on Monday. The 23-year-old fled Ukraine in August 2012 after she cut down a 13ft wooden cross with a chainsaw.

The head of the French branch of radical topless feminist group Femen, Ukrainian Inna Shevchenko, was granted political asylum in France on Monday.

Shevchenko, who applied for asylum after fleeing her native Ukraine in August last year, told the AFP news agency that the French refugee organsiation OFPRA had approved her request, based on fears that she would face persecution in Ukraine for her political activities.

The 23-year-old said she had made a "strategic choice" to seek asylum in France. "To develop the movement, we need a place, we need a country," she said.

Shevchenko sparked outrage in her homeland after she sawed down a large wooden cross that stood in the centre of Kiev in protest at the prosecution of the Russian band Pussy Riot and President Vladimir Putin’s close relations with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Fearing arrest, she fled to Paris, via Warsaw, using a tourist visa, and has remained in France since.

News of Shevchenko’s successful asylum request was also announced on Femen’s website.

“Ideologist and inspirer of the crosscutting pursued by the authorities of Ukraine and Russia sextremist Femen Inna Shevchenko received documents to be granted political asylum of the French Republic,” it stated.

When contacted by AFP, OFPRA said it was unable to comment on the matter, which it described as “confidential”.

However, according to OFPRA documents sent to the news agency by Femenand also published on its website, the decision to grant asylum to Shevchenko was taken on April 9.

The documents state that Shevchenko was recognised as having “refugee status” and that she is now “under the legal protection” of the agency.

Since Shevchenko’s arrival in Paris, the French capital has become Femen’s principal base, with the group setting up its first “training centre” in the country in September 2012.

Founded in Ukraine in 2008, the self-declared “radical feminist” group has staged numerous controversial protests against sexism and religious institutions across the world. 

In Tunisia three European women were jailed for baring their breasts in public during a protest in support of a detained Tunisian Femen activist.

The women, one German and two French, were released from prison last month.

On Friday police in Turkey arrested a Femen activist who had staged a topless protest at an Istanbul airport to denounce Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's religious conservatism.

Date created : 2013-07-08

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisia sentences Femen topless activists to prison

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Ukraine's Femen group stages topless rally in Paris

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Anti-gay marriage protesters clash with feminists in Paris

    Read more

COMMENT(S)