Topless protesters face Tunisia jail

AFP-JIJI

Three European women with the radical activist group Femen, who were arrested after baring their breasts in Tunis, will be tried this week for public indecency and could be jailed.

They will be tried for “public indecency” and an “attack on public morals,” crimes both punishable by six months in prison in socially conservative Tunisia, where the coalition government is headed by an Islamist party.

The three young women were identified by the Femen movement in Paris as Pauline Hillier and Marguerite Stern, both French, and Josephine Markmann from Germany.

They were arrested Wednesday as they staged a topless protest outside the central courthouse in Tunis, the first such protest organized by a radical feminist group in the Arab world. Their demonstration was held to demand the release of Amina Sboui, an 18-year-old Tunisian activist with their group who was detained in May after protesting Tunisia’s main Salafist group and allegedly painting the word “Femen” on a wall near a cemetery in Kairouan.