By Inna Shevchenko
Turkish revolutionaries! Taksim Square! Femen is calling for your help!
Femen has appealed to the Turkish revolutionaries with a request to protect their Tunisian prisoners Amina (18, from Tunisia), Josephine (19, Germany), Marguerite (23, France) and Pauline (27, France), who face sentences from one to six years in prison.
The movement Femen has urged all those who are fighting against Erdogan's Islamisation of Turkey to come to the embassy and consulate of Tunisia on 12 June at 12.00, demanding the immediate release of the girls. Let's say together to stranglers of democracy and freedom: "Free Amina!", "Free Femen!", "Free Turkey!", "Stop Islamisation!"
Four young women are being held in a Tunisian prison for participating in non-violent protests conducted with the aim of protecting women's rights in the Republic of Tunisia, initially catalysed by the actions of the Tunisian Femen activist nineteen Amina Tyler (Sboui), 19 years old, who on 27 February posted a topless photo of herself on Facebook, with her breasts bearing the slogan "Fuck Your Morals". It was a protest against the norms of extremist-Islamic morality, which are being forcibly imposed on females in Tunisia by the current Islamic government.
The next day, Tunisian Islamist leaders called on their followers to inflict physical violence on Amina by stoning. She was then kidnapped by her religious family and placed under house arrest, where she was subjected to physical and psychological violence. After escaping from home confinement and continuing her struggle, Amina held a peaceful protest in the Tunisian town of Kayrune on 19 May - protesting against the illegal meeting of Salafists. Amina wrote the word "FEMEN" on the fence of the religious complex, for which she was arrested and put in jail.
In order to draw attention to the illegality of the trial of Amina, on 29 May, Femen activists held a peaceful topless rally in Tunisia in solidarity, calling out for her freedom. During the action, Tunisian police arrested three Femen activists: two citizens of France - Marguerite Stern and Pauline Hillier - and one German citizen, Josephine Markmann. For more than a day activists were denied the right to communicate with their legal counsel, the consuls of France and Germany; their clothes were confiscated, and made it impossible to perform personal hygiene procedures. By making it difficult for others to access them and provide support, the authorities exerted psychological pressure and intimidation.
For example, the Femen activists are subjected to prolonged, gratuitous and frequent movement around the city whilst isolated in special police transport, unable to communicate in French, or other languages, with those holding them. On 30 May three Femen activists were charged under two articles of the Criminal Penal Code Article 226 of Tunisia - "immoral behaviour" and Article 226 (2) "outrages upon morality and public morality," with a potential sentence of six months in prison. The activists have been put under repressive restraint in the form of detention. On 5 June a first hearing was held at which the girls were taken to court in costume, which in this context is another form of psychological pressure and also served to hide any evidence of physical injury from observers. The court forbade anyone to film or photograph the proceedings, and tthe defendant did not have chance to provide a statement - instead, testimony was heard from a number of Salafist organizations, at the request of whom the judge postponed the hearing until 12 June, leaving activists languishing in prison.
The Femen movement asks you not to remain indifferent to the plight of the female prisoners of the Tunisian state, who fearlessly fight against the threat presented by Islamisation to the rights of women in the East. Only uniting together we will prevent the Tunisian legal handling of Femen activists from turning into a "witch hunt." We call on you to support our demand to the Tunisian authorities to immediately release all Femen activists from prison and call an end to repression by civilian leaders!
Free Amina! Free Femen!
Inna Shevchenko is Leader of women's movement FEMEN, sextremist