Tunisia frees 3 Europeans jailed for topless protest

June 27, 2013 04:40
1 minute read.


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TUNIS - A Tunisian court on Wednesday decided to release three European feminist activists who staged a topless protest in Tunis last month against the Islamist-led government.

The release of the three women -- one German and two French members the women's rights group, Femen -- could ease the anger of the European Union, Tunisia's main economic ally.

They were sentenced to four months in jail for indecency earlier this month after their May 29 protest to call for the release of fellow activist Tunisian Amina Tyler.

Tyler, 18, remains in custody, awaiting trial. She was arrested in Kairouan on May 19 after she hung a feminist banner from the wall of a mosque and tried to bare her breasts, on the same day that the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia group held a rally in the city that authorities tried to ban.

The decision to jail the three European women angered France, Germany and the European Union who urged the Islamist-led government to reform its laws on freedom of expression.

"The court sentenced these three activists to four months suspended jail terms... (the) women would leave Tunisia as soon as possible", one of their lawyers, Souhaib Bahri, told Reuters.

Witnesses said the women left the prison of Manouba late on Wednesday night.

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