First Published: 2013-08-01

 

‘Big surprise’: Tunisia Femen activist goes free

 

Judiciary orders release of Femen activist Amina Sboui pending trial for ‘desecrating cemetery.’

 

Middle East Online

Amina’s battle not over yet

TUNIS - The Tunisian judiciary on Thursday ordered the release of Femen activist Amina Sboui pending trial for desecrating a cemetery, her lawyer Halim Meddeb said.

"She will be free within hours. I wasn't expecting this," he said, adding that it was a "big surprise."

The young woman has been detained since May faces trial for painting the word "Femen" on a cemetery wall in protest at a planned meeting of radical Salafists.

Another of Sboui's lawyers, Ghazi Mrabet, said: "This is a relief. It shows that at least part of Tunisia's judiciary is independent."

Sboui's mother expressed her joy at the release, saying: "I will finally have her in my arms. The judiciary has showed that it is independent."

Amina sparked both scandal and a wave of online support after she was threatened by Tunisia's increasingly active hardline Islamists for posting topless pictures of herself on Facebook earlier this year.

Her family said that she suffered from chronic depression and had suicidal tendencies, and they prevented her from going out, claiming her safety was at risk.

But the young woman, who accused her relatives of holding her in captivity and beating her, ran away from home in April and had regularly appeared in public before her detention in May, although never topless.

The Femen movement, founded in Ukraine and now based in Paris, has flourished since 2010, with feminists around the world stripping off in protest at a wide range of issues linked to the mistreatment of women, but also against dictatorship.

At the end of May, three Femen activists -- two French and a German -- were arrested after bearing their breasts outside the main Tunis courthouse, in a demonstration of support for Amina.

The arrest of the three women triggered international condemnation and they were released a month later.

 

Saudi second Crown Prince: We must protect our youth from ‘forces of darkness’

Huthi rebels hold key Sanaa offices after hard-won peace deal

UN hopes to convene Libya political dialogue next week

Palestinians intensive diplomatic campaign on three fronts

Qatar ‘will not host’ 2022 World Cup: Blame it on temperatures!

World leaders confront crises on many fronts at UN

Kurds slow jihadist advance on key border town in northern Syria

Mossad launches new website to recruit potential spooks

Australia to join US-led air campaign in Iraq

Freed to be rearrested: Palestinian prisoners plan hunger strike

Lebanon describes abuse of Syria detainees as ‘isolated incident’

Abadi opposes foreign ground intervention in Iraq

Algeria army eliminates ‘terrorist chief’ in Kabylie region

Better safe than sorry: EU boosts security after jihadist threat

Iran conducts arrests over ‘SMS Khomeini insults’

Rouhani: Iran cornerstone of stability in Mideast

4 Saudis sentenced to death in 'bloodiest terror' cell

Australia’s Howard 'embarrassed' US intel on Iraq WMD unfounded

IS urges Muslims to kill citizens from US-led coalition

Over 130,000 Syrian Kurds flee to Turkey

South Sudan peace talks resume in Ethiopia

Iraq loses communication with soldiers near Fallujah

Rival Yemen groups sign UN-brokered deal

US discusses IS militant threat with arch-foe Iran

Turkey's PKK urges fellow Kurds to fight IS jihadists in Syria

UN warns over 'forcible transfer' of Palestinian Bedouin

Syria denies use of chlorine chemicals

Court verdict paves way for release of activist Mahienour el-Massry

IS fighters lay siege to Syria Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab

Huthi seditious plans come out in open: Capture of government HQ in Sanaa

Israel steps up cyber-defense with new national body

Egypt military aircraft crashes after technical failure

Erdogan confesses: Turkey held ‘diplomatic negotiations’ with Islamic State

Pope denounces Islamic State: Religion cannot be used to justify violence!

Solution according to Huthis: Deal in Saada and battles in Sanaa

Bloody attack strikes outside Egypt Foreign Ministry in Cairo

Mediators denounce ‘senseless fighting’ in South Sudan

Tunisia jihadist group offers backing to Islamic State

US Secretary of State sees role for Iran in war against Islamic State

Kurds cross from Turkey to fight Islamic State in Syria

Yemen suspends flights for second day as truce talks collapse

Turkey loses only excuse for appeasement with Islamic State

Marzouki seeks to stay as Tunisia President

Neighbourhood in Iraq’s Dhuluiyah stands against jihadists

British photographer Cantlie twice held hostage by IS