The radical activist, who co-founded the group in Ukraine in 2008, left a suicide note reportedly addressed to a group of artists in Paris. It read: 'You are all a fake.'
25 Julio 2018 13:01
A co-founder of the radical feminist protest movement Femen, Oksana Shachko, has been found dead in her Paris apartment by apparent suicide, the group announced.
The 31-year-old woman originally from Ukraine was found on Monday with a suicide note next to her body, Femen activists confirmed. The note was written in English, allegedly addressed to a group of Paris-based artists, and said: ‘You are all a fake.’
‘It is with great regret and deep pain that I must confirm the death of Oksana,’ said Inna Shevchenko, one of Femen’s leaders. Another Femen founder, Anna Gutsol, wrote on Facebook: ‘RIP. The most fearless and vulnerable Oksana Shachko has left us. We mourn together with her relatives and friends.’
Shachko was one of four feminist activists who founded Femen in Ukraine in 2008. She had been exiled in France since 2013, and had since left the group and was working as an artist.
Femen introduced the memorable slogan, ‘I came, I stripped, I won’, and was propelled into international attention with bare-breasted demonstrations against sexism.
The group also protested authoritarianism and racism, with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, a particular target, along with France’s far-right Front National party.
However, Femen has struggled with internal spats and divisions, alongside a stack of legal proceedings against its members.
In 2011, Femen said Shachko and two other members were ‘kidnapped’ by security agents and forced to strip naked in a forest after staging a topless protest mocking the Belarussian president, Alexander Lukashenko. The agents poured oil over the three women, threatened to set them on fire, and cut off their hair, Femen said, according to The Guardian.
The group also claims that Shachko was abducted again by unknown agents during a visit by Putin to Ukraine. A lawyer said Shachko was beaten so badly that she was briefly hospitalised.