Tunisia imprisons 3 for topless protest
TUNIS, Tunisia — A Tunisian court on Wednesday convicted three European feminist activists who staged a topless courthouse protest last month, sentencing them to four months and a day in prison, a court official said. The defense called the sentence far too harsh.
The two French and one German members of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen maintained during the trial that there was nothing sexual or offensive about their protest and that it was only to support an imprisoned Tunisian colleague. A group leader has pledged further topless protests in Tunisia and the Middle East.
The protest was the first of its kind in the Middle East for Femen, which has used nudity to push for women rights across Europe. During the trial, the women wore traditional Tunisian cloaks, but their heads were uncovered.
Defense lawyer Souhaib Bahri expressed shock, questioning why trials in more serious crimes seem to result in lighter sentences.
On May 28, a Tunisian court gave 20 suspects in a Sept. 14 mob attack on the U.S. Embassy suspended sentences, prompting the United States to respond that it was “deeply troubled” by the decision. Four demonstrators died in the attack sparked by anger over an American film considered insulting to Islam.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Afghan president vows self-reliance for nation
- Saudi-led attacks seen as escalating violence in Yemen
- Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say
- Copilot’s friends doubt Germanwings crash intentional
- Proposed deal would allow Iran to run centrifuges, prohibit building bomb
- Iran poses top threat to Mideast stability, Israeli consul general says
- Germanwings co-pilot silent as he deliberately slammed plane into Alps
- Prince Charles’ private letters to reveal views
- Militias pull out of battle for Tikrit
- Alone at controls, Germanwings co-pilot sought to ‘destroy’ the plane
- Putin’s sure Russia wins tug-of-war with West