Women took to the streets wearing panties on their heads Sunday as they protested new laws banning lace underwear in Kazakhstan.
The legislation - which includes provisions covering the required level of moisture absorbtion in the garments - will come into force this summer in Kazakhstan as well as Russia and Belarus, according to the Moscow Times.
This sparked the so-called "Panties for the President" demonstrations in the Kazakh city of Almaty on Sunday.
"It irritates me the most that the authorities want to decide what I should wear," Iryna Davydenko, a bank manager who travels regularly between Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, told Al Arabiya English. "As if all other issues in the country are solved and the only outstanding issue is ladies' panties."
Kazakh journalist Dina Baidildayeva tweeted a picture of the demonstrations and said two women had been arrested. Al Arabiya later reported this figure had risen to three. The arrests could not be independently confirmed by NBC News.
The law was passed in 2012 by the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. This trade allegiance was criticized in 2012 by the then secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who said it was an attempt to "re-Sovietize the region."
Lace underwear does not meet a 6 percent threshold for moisture absorption required by the new law, with the synthetic material reportedly reaching only 3 to 3.6 percent. It will come into force on July 1, the Moscow Times reported.
The newspaper said many women had vowed to stockpile the garments before the ban is introduced.
First published February 17 2014, 3:43 AM
Alexander Smith is a staff reporter at NBCNews.com based in London. He started work there in August 2013, and is responsible for finding, verifying, and writing breaking stories. He moved to NBC News from its standalone startup BreakingNews.com, where he was a breaking news editor. Before Breaking News, he was a reporter in the regional press where he covered crime and courts.
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