Three European FEMEN activists who protested topless outside the Tunisian Palace of Justice have been sentenced to four months in prison in Tunisia. The two French women and one German are members of the protest group and were charged with indecency.
Their Tunisian lawyer, Souhaib Bohri, said:
The three Femen protesters are shocked by this sentence. The judge has given them each four months in prison for violating decency and modesty
prison sentence was seen as harsh by many who thought that the women would be acquitted or fined and deported from the country.
The Femen France Facebook page responded to the verdict:
With this decision the
Tunisian powers have shown us their own theocratic savagery and demonstrated to the whole world their neglect of international democratic conventions... the women's movement Femen will not leave its activists to rot in prison, it calls on the world to
stand up for the brave freedom fighters!
Update: EU Response
14th June 2013. From vagazette.com
The European Union has said that the jail sentences handed down to three European feminist activists who staged a topless protest in Tunisia were too severe and urged the Islamist-led government to reform its laws on freedom of expression. A spokesman
for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said:
The EU is surprised by the severity of the judgment. To ensure ... freedom of expression, the EU underlines the need to revise laws inherited from the previous
regimes, which can be used to restrict it.
The criticism seems a bit fake given that the UK has jailed the Naked Rambler for more than 6 years.
A court in Tunisia has freed three European feminists
jailed for staging a topless protest, their lawyer has said. Bahri Souhaib said their sentences had been suspended, and that they would leave Tunisia as soon as possible.
The women - Pauline Hillier, Marguerite Stern and Josephine Markmann -
argued that there had been nothing sexual or offensive about their protest, the first of its kind seen in the Arab world.
I didn't think it was going to shock Tunisians to that extent. Given the consequences, I would never do it again. We want
to return to our country and our loved ones, Ms Hillier told the court on Wednesday.
Mumbai christians have whinged at what it termed a blasphemous song and dance number featuring starlet Kavitta Verma, likely to be shown in the forthcoming Bollywood movie Policegiri .
The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), has written to
the movie producers and the Censor Board protesting the scantily-clad Kavitta allegedly performing the item number wearing a rosary with its cross positioned on her belly. The perennial whinger, CSF general secretary Joseph Dias, told IANS:
The community is concerned. The rosary which she is shown wearing around her neck has its cross positioned on her belly,
Terming this as totally unacceptable, Dias explained that Christians
respect the rosary which they use to intercede with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and reflect in prayer. He said that the producer of the movie, TP Aggarwal, had assured them that the objectionable scenes would not be shown in the movie, due for release
However, Dias said that in case the producer still goes ahead and depicts the scene, the CSF would initiate criminal proceedings against the makers of the movie.
Update: How christians square away forgiveness
The producers invited CSF general secretary Joseph Dias and others for a meeting with Kavitta Verma, who apologised
I tender an unconditional apology, as I am aware that the said picture has hurt your religious sentiments and that of the community and hereby withdraw the same.
suitably appeased and responded:
Both Verma and the Aggarwals tendered separate written apology to the Catholic community said that they hold the highest regard for all religions and would not include the offensive
scenes in the movie. We are satisfied with it. We shall now write to the Censor Board to ensure that such scenes are deleted before the movie is released.
Dias explained that Christians are commanded by their faith to forgive ...BUT...
that does not mean blasphemy of any kind will be tolerated.
Rihanna's topless but unrevealing posters for her Diamonds world tour have offended the insensibilities of some Dublin residents, who took it upon themselves to cover her up by stapling clothes to the images.
The posters feature the
image from her Unapologetic album and depict the singer apparently naked from the waist up but covered by her elbow and the album title.
She will be performing at the Aviva Stadium on June 21, and hopefully the modesty vigilantes will not
be present at her show.
Femen report on the Tunisian trial of the 3 Femen members detained after a topless protest:
Today, the court of Tunisia extended jail time for activists FEMEN until June 12 by moving the trial. The trial of activists increasingly losing
its legal features and more and more is starting to look like bandits kidnapping.
In the courtroom activists have been put in bags on their heads, wrapped in the blanket, the judge banned the photos and video.
According to the human rights
activist Patrick Klugman, who came from Paris to represent the interests of the FEMEN:
I am horrified. Without giving speech to activists of FEMEN, the court listened only Salafist organizations which are not even the
defendants in this case! Fair trial did not take place because the accused have not been released from custody, and they were not even listened to.
Just before the trial for FEMEN in Tunis French sextremists staged a topless prayer to
Allah for the early release of Tunisian prisoners.
FEMEN activists prayed in front of the Tunisian Embassy in Paris. In religious Ecstasy activists were shouting Amina Akbar! Pauline Akbar! ', ' Marguerite Akbar! , Josephine
Akbar! , FEMEN women's spring goes! .
Meanwhile three members of a radical Ukrainian feminist group have been expelled from Tunisia on suspicion of planning another topless protest in front of the court where their colleagues were being
tried on charges of public indecency, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.
Two activists from the Femen feminist group protested on stage during the final of Heidi Klum's casting show Germany's Next Top Model in Mannheim, Germany.
Klum got quite the surprise on the final episode of Germany's Next Top Model
when the stage was suddenly ambushed by two topless women throwing their arms in the air with Heidi Horror Picture Show written on their chests.
There has been no clear explanation as to what the two semi-naked women were exactly
attempting to protest.
The model reality show continued business as usual after the interruption.
Three activists from the feminist group Femen have been arrested after baring their breasts in Tunis in what the group described as its first topless protest in an Islamic state.
The women from German and France were detained after taking
off their coats outside the Ministry of Justice on May 29, revealing their naked chests scrawled with: Breasts Feed Revolution and holding signs saying: Fuck your morals!
They said their action was in support of the Tunisian
woman, Amina Tyler, who posted topless pictures of herself online as a form of protest. Tyler was protesting against hard-line Islamists earlier this month and is currently awaiting trial.
The Femen activists' May 29 action quickly drew a crowd
until police led the women away.
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.
The members of 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
Lawyer Souhaib Bahri said they would appear in court June 5 and face up to six months in prison.
The authorities of the district of North Aceh have issued an edict forbidding women to dance in public.
The incident has sparked protests by human rights activists and ordinary citizens, who describe the regulation as bizarre.
The law that forbids women to dance in public, recently completed but already a source of lively debate, was signed by the head of the district of North Aceh Muhammad Thaib. He claims that the way in which women dance could easily fuel corporal
desire in men. And, according to the dictates of Islam, this is not right.
Among the many who have taken to the streets to demonstrate, is a local dancer and choreographer Affandi who says that such regulation is unfounded and beyond
any logic. If the authorities want to issue a regulation of any kind - he adds - they would do better to deal with corruption, rather than targeting the arts. Although he accepts the fact that Islam (the local version) prevents women from reciting
prayers in public, because their voice could stir men.
Swedish protestors smashed windows of the fashion store, American Apparel.
The protests were sparked by a blog post pointing out that American Apparel model male clothes using very staid poses, but use sexy pictures for women's wear.
Local, a Swedish news site in English, spoke to blogger Emelie Eriksson about a post she wrote comparing the marketing for American Apparel's unisex items. When a male model is used, the garment is styled innocently, she argues, while the female
models in the very same piece are made to look like they've just had sex. She said:
I think it's totally sickening how American Apparel markets its clothes. It shows they have a very degrading view toward women
and I'm surprised they've been able to do this without facing any strong criticism.
American Apparel said:
As a company, American Apparel is very sensitive to gender and sexual issues, just as we
have been to issues like immigration and gay marriage. In this case, the actual product model photo for this unisex item is fully clothed for women, just as it is for men. Unfortunately, some bloggers have confused an artistic photoshoot which accompany
the pages with a product shot and a controversy erupted as a result.
The man who founded a Swedish online fashion retailer has posed part-naked to help market the firm's clothes in protest at US retailer American Apparel using sexy images of partly-naked women to sell its wares.
Michaela Forni, a Swedish
fashion blogger who manages the product range for online retailer byPM.se, told The Local:
We thought it was sick that American Apparel time and again gets away with such sexist advertising,
wanted to do the exact same thing they did, but with the opposite gender. On our site, it's the man who has his bare ass in the air and is seen in a sexually seductive pose.
People say, 'Ew, you can't have those images.' But when
women are portrayed similarly, no one reacts.
The man featured in the byPM.se images is the company's founder and part owner, Petter Lindqvist.
A FEMEN sekstremist has burned a Barbie-idol at the opening of Barbie Dream House in Berlin. Femen explain in somewhat clumsy English:
Ritual Barbiecue with fried meat of the plastic idol was made to
demonstrate the true meaning of the history of commercial monster Mattel. They have turned a piece of plastic into a god for millions of girls from all over the world who now seek only to imitate plastic shapes and stupidity and absurdity of conduct.
The nazi ideology of Mattel purposefully creates the image of a female doll, dictating not only the appearance of new generations, and that the worst social role of reckless beauty finding a reason to exist in the continuous care of
their appearance and the house.
FEMEN urges mercilessly burning of idols! A woman is not a Barbie! A woman is a revolution!
The Barbie Dreamhouse Experience allows paying visitors to try on Barbie's clothes,
play in her kitchen and have a go on her pink piano. The exhibition will be open until August 25. (Voltairestraße 2a / Dircksenstraße, train and underground stations Alexanderplatz and Jannowitzbrücke)
The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis.
Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh made up a few nonsense claims and pronounced that anyone using social media
sites - and especially Twitter - has lost this world and his afterlife .
The sheikh's comments echo those of the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in April who used his sermon - seen by millions on TV - to warn that Twitter was a threat to
national unity, a BBC correspondent said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia's grand mufti, the kingdom's most senior Muslim cleric, had unimaginatively dismissed Twitter users as fools .
Saudi authorities have mooted moves that could inhibit
Twitter users by linking their online accounts to their Saudi ID numbers.
A charities board says it made a decision to remove Family First New Zealand from the national Charities Register because it no longer meets the requirements of a charity.
It seems that the issue is the campaigners' obsessive rant against anything
to do with gay marriage. The general manager of Charities Services, Brendon Ward said that at a recent meeting of the board:
The members determined that Family First's purpose did not meet the charitable purpose
recognised in New Zealand law and set out in the Charities Act 2005.
The Board's position is that Family First's main purpose is to promote particular points of view about family life. Under the Act promotion of a controversial
point of view is a political purpose.
Family First does not advance religion or education, nor promote a benefit to all New Zealanders as determined by the Act.
Family First maintains that it is beneficial
to the public that it promotes debate and discussion of different points of view on family life. However, the current legal position is that promoting debate on particular points of view is not a charitable purpose.
Family First now
has 20 working days to appeal the board's decision to the High Court.
A modern production of Richard Wagner's opera Tannhauser is causing a stir in Germany because of Nazi-themed scenes showing people dying in gas chambers and members of a family having their heads shaved before being executed.
The opera had
performers inside glass chambers, falling to the floor as white fog billowed. After a half hour, the music stopped and a family stepped on stage. The parents and their children were having their hair shaved off and then they are shot dead.
Doll, a spokeswoman for the Dusseldorf opera house said that members of the audience booed and were shocked by the opening performance. She said Deutsche Oper am Rhein is debating whether to censor the provocative parts, added to the original by
producer Burkhard Kosminski.
Michael Szentei-Heise of the city's Jewish community told The Associated Press that the adaptation at the city's Deutsche Oper am Rhein was tasteless and not legitimate.
The director, Christoph Meyer,
said: This is not about mocking the victims, but mourning them.
The original Tannhauser opera is set in the Middle Ages.
The production, by
director Burkhard Kosminski has now been unceremoniously pulled, with the theatre admitting it had been too much of a psychological and physical strain for many opera goers. For artistic reasons , Kosminski steadfastly refused to change the
most offensive scenes after an initial barrage of complaints following the opening night on Saturday.
India's National Commission of Women (NCW) have been irked by film producers who ignored the NCW call to defend their film from a complaint against use of the word daayan and derogatory portrayal of women in the film.
Bhardwaj and producer Ekta Kapoor were asked to answer comments about their film, Ek Thi Daayan (There Once was a Witch) ), but declined .
The NCW has now written to the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) asking for its
intervention in the matter, but is seems unlikely that they will be too bothered as they have just given the film a U/A rating (parental guidance).
A complaint against the film was filed by Ipsita Roy Chakraverti, a Wiccan priestess, stating that
it showed women [witches?] in a very regressive light. She had also written to President Pranab Mukherjee requesting him to ban the film as it promotes witchcraft.
Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar, the NCW member handling the case, said:
Women being branded as 'daayan' and subjected to various atrocities is a common and dangerous practice that still happens in several parts of the country. Such films being introduced into the society without adequate
checks and balances, we fear, will further weaken the position of women.
The president is sitting in the left chair and just misses out on an impromptu lap dance
The Topless Jihad is continuing!
FEMEN activists carried out the sex attack on the President of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki, during his visit to Paris. Three sextremists entered into closed
Conference in Institute of Arab culture in Paris, where Marzouki gave a presentation to the media of his book The Invention of Democracy .
French sextremists sabotaged the conference shutting the mouth of
Marzouki shouting Topless Jihad and women's spring is coming . The bodies of the attackers were asking Where is Amina? , recalling the Tunisian FEMEN Amina subjected threats by the Islamists and who is still in forced isolation.
FEMEN accuses Tunisia's ruling class with Islamization of the country. President Marzuki shares responsibility for Islamization of Tunisia along with his protege, the leader of the Islamist party, Ennadha prime
Minister Ali Laraedom.
FEMEN insists on toppling regimes that came during an Arab spring, which brought the Islamist black. FEMEN said the deteriorating situation of women in the region and insists on the need for a
new Arab women's revolution to liberate women from the middle age traditions that are controlling their life.
A Greek television advert is being withdrawn after both the country's truckers and the gay community took easy offence.
The ad for AirFastTickets shows a hitchhiker boarding a truck for Turin. As soon as the door shuts, the driver flicks a
switch, a neon-lit pink divan with bears and pillows appears in the cabin, and he blows the passenger a suggestive kiss. The punch line is:
Do you want to travel cheaply, and end up paying for it dearly?
The Hauliers Association whinged:
You have ridiculed Greek truckers brutally and without provocation
Greece's main gay association, OLKE, whinged that the ad typecasts gay men:
Gay men are presented as devious and sex-obsessed people trying to seduce unsuspecting youths. Once again, the easy road of homophobia and stereotypes is chosen to advertise products.
produced a new version of the ad, in which the driver keeps a skull and electric candles in the back of the cabin and wants to take a detour through the Carpathian mountains. But the truck drivers was still 'outraged':
The new ad presents us as necrophilliacs. We will file a complaint about this one too.
Mannequins outside clothes shops have been banned in the Indian city of Mumbai.
Ritu Tawde, a female Shiv Sena rep of Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) claimed that the dummies and their sexy lingerie strips women of dignity. She claims the
male gaze is constantly in search for that which titillates and shimmering lingerie and night dresses on display on mannequins on the streets encourage men to treat women as objects and make advances towards them:
In my area in Ghatkopar, the shops near SNDT College on MG Road display revealing night suits and night gowns. They also put fashionable lingerie on display. These clothes are displayed in such a way that no one can miss them.
Even though the target audience or clientele are women, most women lower their head in embarrassment when they cross such shops. However, the clothes give immense pleasure to some perverts. It encourages them to look at women as
sultry objects and make advances towards them.
She claimed it can prove dangerous, especially to girls attending college.
So, as part of a women's safety campaign, the BMC has decided to take action against shop owners who keep
mannequins in provocative clothes outside their establishments.
lingerie and other skimpy clothing may soon be banned in India's cosmopolitan city of Mumbai as an anti-rape measure.
The municipal council overwhelmingly passed a resolution last month barring stores from putting scantily-clad mannequins outside
their shops. The municipal commissioner has yet to give the required approval of the resolution.