An Australian video operator for a topless protest group was arrested after a rally in Belarus led KGB security agents to “kidnap” a number of protesters and force them to strip naked in a forest, threatening to torch them, the group says.
Ukranian feminist group FEMEN, which operates under the slogan “I came, I stripped, I won,” on Monday appealed for Australian diplomats to help secure Kitty Green’s release on its website.
‘‘FEMEN urges diplomatic missions of Australia (to) strongly interfere with the fate of its citizen. The women’s movement FEMEN requires the Belarusian authorities to immediately release the journalist,’’ it said.
A video on Ukranian feminist group FEMEN’s website shows bare-chested protesters wearing fake moustaches ‘‘strikingly reminiscent of…Lukashenko,’’ and holding posters that read “Freedom for political prisoners” on the anniversary of a brutal crackdown on protests against president Alexander Lukashenko’s controversial re-election.
Belarus police had arrested dozens of regime opponents who tried to stage a banned vigil in Minsk on the same day.
The group said yesterday that KGB agents had interrogated and intimidated Ms Green ‘‘and forcibly seized all the photos and videos.’’
She was only released after the Australian embassy in Moscow intervened, FEMEN said.
Ms Green has reportedly since told friends on Facebook she had left the country through Lithuania and was safe.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed an Australian journalist was detained in Minsk on 19 December and later released.
‘‘Consular Officials from the Australian Embassy in Moscow provided the journalist with consular assistance,’’ a DFAT spokeswoman said.
‘‘The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra provided assistance to the journalist’s family in Australia.”
– With AFP
Jane Lee – WA Today