Tunisia charges European topless activists

AP News
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Posted: May 31, 2013 12:27 PM
Tunisia charges European topless activists

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Three European activists who protested topless in front of the Tunis courthouse in solidarity with a Tunisian member have been charged with offending public decency and threatening public order, their attorney said Friday.

The members of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen were demonstrating for the release of Amina Sboui, who angered conservatives with a protest in the religious center of Kairouan in which she allegedly scrawled the name of the group on a cemetery wall.

The protesters, two French women and a German, were forcibly removed from the courthouse during Sboui's trial on Thursday by police as angry Tunisians demonstrated against them and attacked journalists. The group is known for the use of nudity in its protests.

Lawyer Souhaib Bahri said they would appear in court June 5 and face up to six months in prison.

Sboui, also known by the pseudonym Amina Tyler, was arrested on May 19 and has been charged with carrying an incendiary object over her possession of pepper spray. Prosecutors are considering pressing further charges of desecrating a cemetery and offending public decency. She will also appear in court June 5 in Kairouan.

Sboui scandalized Tunisia in March by posting online photos of herself topless with the slogan "my body is my own" written on her torso.