News / Middle East

Tunisian Activist Acquitted Amid Growing Unrest

Detained Tunisian member of the Ukrainian women’s group Femen, Amina Sboui, sits at the Msaken court, where she faces a new set of charges of insulting and defaming state employees, July, 22; 2013.
Detained Tunisian member of the Ukrainian women’s group Femen, Amina Sboui, sits at the Msaken court, where she faces a new set of charges of insulting and defaming state employees, July, 22; 2013.
Lisa Bryant
— A Tunisian court on Monday partially acquitted a Femen activist, while in broader unrest, the army sealed off a square in Tunis where rival protesters have clashed following last week's assassination for a secular politician.

Activist Amina Sboui was acquitted of contempt and defamation charges, for having complained that inmates in the Tunisian prison where she is being held had been tortured. But the young woman, a member of the breast-baring Femen movement, remains jailed on separate charges for scrawling graffiti on a cemetery wall.

While her lawyer called Sboui's partial acquittal a 'victory,' Inna Shevchenko from Femen's Paris headquarters, said it's only a first step. "It doesn't mean Amina is free, or it doesn't mean anything that can be connected to Amina's freedom because she is still charged for the main thing for what she was arrested - profanation of a cemetery and an immoral act," Shevchenko stated.

Sboui's graffiti targeted a hardline Salafist movement -- underscoring wider tensions between secular and religious Tunisians. Those tensions came into sharp focus with last week's killing of secular politician Mohamed Brahmi.

Brahmi's killing sparked nationwide protests and violent clashes that continued on Monday. The army sealed off a main square in the capital Tunis. In the powder-keg central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators.

Authorities believe the same gun was used in the killing of both Brahmi and another secular politician, Chokri Belaid, earlier this year. They say the suspected assailant, Boukabr Hakim, is a jihadist, who was born in France and grew up in northeastern Paris.

Sboui and her Femen colleagues have also attracted attention in Tunisia.  Three European Femen members spent a month in a Tunis jail after they stripped off their shirts to protest her incarceration. They were later freed and sent home.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid