Femen activists – whose topless protests on a range of themes in Ukraine and abroad have brought arrests and international attention – said they wanted to register their group to put it on a stronger legal footing. But the Justice Ministry turned down the request, citing possible “infringement of rights of others,” according to a copy of a letter from the ministry posted on Femen’s blog on Jan. 16.
“The goal … of this association of women for the protection of women’s rights and against the discrimination of women in society may be perceived to violate public order and the freedom of other citizens,” the letter reads.
“The ministry did not register our movement due to an order from above,” said Anna Hutsol, Femen’s leader. “The authorities are not happy with us because we are their strongest critics.” She added that the group would reapply.