27 June 2013, 03:16

Tunisia to free FEMEN activists

активистки FEMEN

Three European FEMEN activists were set to be released from prison Wednesday evening in Tunisia after an appeals court overturned their four-month jail sentences for public indecency over a topless protest last month, their lawyer said.

The appeals court in Tunis upheld the convictions of German activist Josephine Markmann, 20, and two French activists for public indecency and offending public morals over their May 29 protest outside the justice ministry.

But the judge changed their four-month custodial sentences to four-month suspended sentences, paving the way for their release, lawyer Leila Ben Debba told dpa.

At both their trial and their appeal, the activists had insisted they had not intended to offend Tunisians but to show solidarity with a local FEMEN activist, who has been in detention for more than a month for a small-scale protest.

Ben Debba said they apologized to the court for any offence caused and promised not to repeat a topless protest on Tunisian soil.

Ukrainian-founded FEMEN has become famous in Europe for its topless protests against misogyny, religion and repressive rule. In Tunisia their radical style caused shock and anger.

Wearing only skimpy shorts, they had demonstrated to demand the release of activist Amina Tyler with slogans such as "Free Amina" and "Breasts feed revolution" written across their chests.

France and the European Commission had expressed dismay at their jail sentences and appealed for clemency.

Voice of Russia, DPA

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