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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid