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At Least Three Anti-Feminist Activists Detained In Kyiv During Women's Rally

Police detain a protester at the march in Kyiv on March 8.
Police detain a protester at the march in Kyiv on March 8.

KYIV -- At least three anti-feminist activists were detained in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, during an International Women's Day rally on March 8.

Some 150 activists, mainly women, took part in the rally called "Women's March," on Mykhayliv Square in Kyiv, protesting domestic, sexual, and psychological violence against women.

They demanded that the government join the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Many were also protesting against what they called "kitchen slavery."

The feminists held posters, saying " My Body Is My Business." Some of them also held lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) flags.

A rival protest was held by dozens of people representing far-right nationalist groups.

They held posters saying "God! Fatherland! Patriarchate!" and "Feminism Destroys Ukrainian Families."

Hundreds of riot police officers separated the two groups. At least three antifeminist protesters were detained after they clashed with police.

Earlier on March 7, Amnesty International urged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that participants in events marking International Women's Day on March 8 are "protected from violence."

Oksana Pokalchuk, the director of the London-based human rights watchdog's office in Ukraine, called on Kyiv to prevent violence at events organized by feminist groups in Ukraine.

Pokalchuk also said that the Ukrainian authorities' "failure to ensure adequate protection" at such events in the last two years has led to "injuries to peaceful attendees at solidarity events."

In February, Amnesty International criticized the Ukrainian authorities' failure to prevent or investigate "numerous" human rights violations committed last year against rights activists -- in particular those defending the rights of women and members of the LGBT community -- political opponents, and ethnic minorities.

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