Amina is free; viva Amina

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Amina has been freed though she still faces charges. Her lawyer said:

“Amina is still on trial for desecrating the cemetery but the public indecency and forming an alliance to assault properties and individuals charges have been dropped.”

Congratulations to FEMEN and all those who fought to free her. We must continue the fight until all charges are dropped.

The Free Amina campaign sent this email about it (google translated from French):

“Amina is free. Thanks to you all. Those who donated to allow her to resume her studies, her lawyers, her supporters, including Tunisians and French, and of course FEMEN. Thanks to you all.

Her courage is a lesson. The severity of her detention has unveiled the injustice that prevails in Tunisia. We will continue to expose and fight whilst freedom of conscience is not being respected, whilst Jabeur Mejri is in prison (sentenced to seven years for blasphemy), whilst his friends Ghazi Beji or Nadia El Fani cannot return to Tunisia for fear of risking the same punishment, whilst democracy has not become a reality of the promised revolution. Amina is free; her name has become a promise. So will Tunisia!”

***

On another worrying note, three FEMEN activists and a journalist have been kidnapped by Ukrainian and Russian secret services and another FEMEN activist beaten and hospitalised. Here is more information on it. La lucha continua…

Witch Trials in Tunisia

The three young German and French FEMEN activists who protested topless at a Tunisian court in defence of Amina have been sentenced to four months in prison! According to an interview with one of their lawyers:

We knew that the maximum sentence was six months. The court in Tunis has not gone so far but has chosen a very heavy penalty, widely disproportionate to the facts. How to explain it? They probably wanted to condemn freedom of expression. Last week, the hearing was postponed under pressure of fifteen highly virulent conservative and Islamic associations. It is this pressure that may explain the severity of this judgement, which is a form of witchcraft trials, the offence of blasphemy.

Another lawyer said:

Heavy sentences for three European FEMEN activists is a bad sign for Amina. She did nothing, yet she faces up to twelve years in prison.”

Could this be?

It cannot and must not.

We must stand with Pauline, Margarite, Josephine and Amina until they are free.

If there is any justice, the four would be free and the Islamists who threaten and kill with impunity would be in prison.

FEMEN is collecting donations for the legal appeal; to help the parents of the three meet their daughters in jail; a permanent FEMEN observer in Tunis; for clothes and food for the four; a public campaign against Tunisian authorities…

Support the campaign and please donate here.

Amina represents me and us.

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(Also read an interview with Amina’s father. You can use google translate to read it.)

Amina Akbar

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Tunisian FEMEN activist Amina was brought back to court today in handcuffs and covered in a blanket.

The “secret hearing” under police supervision meant that the decision of the court is unknown, according to FEMEN.

Amina faces up to two years in prison for writing “FEMEN” on a mosque wall and carrying pepper spray for her own protection.

Whilst Islamists are free to roam the streets to kill and intimidate at will, our dissenters are locked up behind bars and threatened with imprisonment.

We must not leave Amina alone. She speaks for all of us.

Also, the three FEMEN activists – Marguerite, Josephine and Pauline – who staged a topless protest at the court in Tunisia at Amina’s first hearing and who are now in jail and face prison terms must be freed immediately. In the courtroom, the activists bags had been put over their heads and they were covered in blankets; the judge banned photos and videos. According to human rights activist Patrick Klugman, who came from Paris to represent the interests of the FEMEN said: “I am horrified. Without giving FEMEN activists permission to speak, the court listened only to Salafi 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 heard.” Pre-trial is set for June 12.

Any day the four spend in prison is a day too long. They have done nothing wrong.

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On the eve of the hearing, FEMEN activists held a “prayer” on the road near the Tunisian embassy in Paris chanting “Amina Akbar!”

Amina is great indeed…

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For more information, visit FEMEN’s website.

 

Release Amina and FEMEN activists now

9100_530562193678318_2134233333_n On 30 May, FEMEN activist Amina Tyler went on trial on charges of ”desecration of a grave” and “carrying harmful weapons”. She had scrawled the slogan FEMEN on a mosque wall and had pepper spray for her own protection with her. The judge decided to keep her jailed and added the charge of “attack on public morals”. The charges can carry from six months to five year imprisonment.

Nearly 200 Islamists protested against her saying she had sullied the image of the city and insulted Islam.

In condemnation of her trial, three FEMEN activists protested topless at the Tunisian courthouse and were arrested for attacking public decency and immoral behaviour. The two French and one German citizens are now in jail and could face up to one year in jail.

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Clearly, the only attack on human decency is their arrests whilst Islamists roam free to murder and intimidate at will.

The four must be freed now.

Join FEMEN in calling for their immediate release. You can also donate to help support the four women. More information here.

Hands off our Amina!

Here’s an update from the campaign to defend Amina. FEMEN Tunisia activist Amina has been arrested and faces imprisonment. We must act to support her now. More details to follow. Here’s the letter:

Hello to all of you. Thanks to you, we were able to collect 4730-euro. We collected 5525 USD (less 442 USD of indiegogo expenses and exchange rate) is 3930 €. On this was added 800 € which were sent by several donors to Prochoix. That is 4700 €. Thanks to all.

We will inform you how this money is spent. Because as you know we wanted, at her request, to assure her a plane ticket, to live and to assure her security until September. Several NGO have found how she can continue her studies in France.

But today, Amina risks several months of prison. We are going to do everything to increase the mobilization so that she is released as quickly as possible and can study.

Amina was arrested on Sunday, further to an action against the salafi mob. She was questioned then charged with ridiculous motives including ” desecration of a grave” and “carrying harmful weapons” (mace). The salafis were released for the greater part in spite of the bearing of sabres and knives and the fact of having uttered the threats, she is still in detention.

Amina will be in court on May 30th in Kairouan. It is very important to act in solidarity and show our indignation against this injustice. In Tunisia, as abroad.

A support committee is being formed. Amina’s lawyer, Maitre Souhayb Bahri, has all our gratitude and our confidence.

We shall inform you of all our initiatives.

More information here and also in English here.

By the way, here is an act of solidarity with Amina Tyler, Imad Iddine Habib, Bangladesh’s bloggers and Alex Aan at the May 17-19, 2013 Women In Secularism conference in Washington DC:

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Amina: No more moral lessons

Here is the latest photo from Amina Tyler of FEMEN Tunisia. No More Moral Lessons, indeed!

You can donate to support Amina here; I just did.

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Amina continues her protests in Tunisia.

On 1 May, Amina and other activists protested against the representatives of the Congress Party for the Republic Moncef Marzouki, including against the Minister of Women’s Rights Sihem Badi. There were calls for Badi to resign with protesters chanting “Badi get out!” and “Government of terrorism, minister of rape.” You can see a video of Amina protesting here:

Long Live Amina!

Support Amina!

555131_562483327107367_155145990_nDear friends,

Amina is asking for support! She is preparing to escape from Tunisia for her own safety. Please join the campaign to support Amina by donating here.

As has been previously reported, Amina was kidnapped by her family after posting a topless photo of herself for Femen Tunisia. On April 12, Amina managed to escape. She was able to get her papers. But they are outdated, and are being renewed. She is now safe. Thanks to all those who mobilised on her behalf. [More information can be found here.]

We now need her to look ahead with regards her safety. Applications for a scholarship for her have been made, and will be in place in September. In the meantime, we need 4,000 Euros ($5,200) to pay for travel and accommodation, food and security until September. If we raise more, we can meet Amina’s security needs beyond September.

The practicality of the call for donations will be managed by the organisation, Prochoix.

Upon receipt of the donations by Prochoix via the crowdfunding platform, Filmmaker Nadia El Fani who is in daily contact with Amina will be responsible for ensuring Amina’s needs are met.

Collectif Free Amina
Fiammetta Venner (Prochoix)
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker

Amina: “I will continue the struggle in Tunisia”

Amina’s first talk with FEMEN’s Inna Shevchenko after her escape from detention. Amina was kidnapped, denied contact with friends and FEMEN, beaten, taken to a psychiatrist, drugged, forced to read the Koran and taken to imams though she is an atheist, taught “morals”, given a virginity test… all because she posted a topless photo of herself with the slogan “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” and “fuck your morals”.

Amina says she will not leave Tunisia until she does another topless action; she will continue the struggle…

And we will stand with her.

Here is the wonderful Amina:

Long Live Amina!

***

Congratulations to all those who defended Amina on the International Day to Defend Amina and shame on those who chose to side with Islam and Islamism.

Freedom is my culture.

Today is our day to defend our Amina

aminaUpdated 5 April, 22:00 hours

April 4 was our day to defend our Amina. The 19 year old Tunisian FEMEN activist whose only “crime” was to post a topless photo of herself saying: “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” and “fuck your morals”.

Whilst she has done nothing wrong, she has been effectively detained incommunicado by her family with the help of the police, and the latest reports say she has been drugged and beaten.

Amina says though that she has no regrets.

Our beloved Amina, this day is for you…

Some of the actions taken and statements made in support of Amina have been posted below.

  • On 4 April, there were actions in Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Brussels, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Kiev, London, Malmo, Milan, Montreal, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, San Francisco, Stockholm, Vancouver, Warsaw and more to mark 4 April, the International Day to Defend Amina. You can see reports and photos from various events here as well as below:
  • A committee made up of Mina Ahadi, Nesan Nodinian, Gaby Schmidt, Eduard Von and Ahmad Rahmani met with the head of the Tunisian Consulate in Bonn to raise the demands of the International Day to Defend Amina.
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  • Here are some photos from the Gothenburg protest: am1am2
  • Here is a television report and photos from Stockholm protest. Also another piece on Stockholm protest and here too. There are more photos on this siteCYO4th April13 Stockholm11CYO4th April13 Stockholm6 - Copy (1)CYO4th April13 Stockholm7 - CopyCYO4th April13 Stockholm6 - Copy
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  • Here is a photo of the protest in Vancouver:IMG_20130404_163003
  • Here are photos from Frankfurt protest: 524833_10200927159326606_1549681464_n543877_10200927163366707_130962972_n

[Read more...]

Why an International Day to Defend Amina?

Capture d’écran 2013-03-25 à 22.46.08Below is a compilation of questions I have been responding to on 4 April for various journalists:

Why an International Day to Defend Amina?

When I heard that 19 year old Tunisian Amina had been threatened with death for posting a topless photo of herself bearing the slogan “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour”, I knew we had to act.

Within 24 hours, a number of well known individuals and groups joined in a call to mark 4 April as an International Day to Defend Amina – both to unequivocally defend her and demand her safety and freedom whilst also demanding the prosecution of the Islamist who threatened her. Whilst Amina had done nothing wrong, the police aided her family in detaining her against her will and stopping all forms of communication with her friends and FEMEN rather than prosecuting those who detained and threatened her. She is still being held against her will and did not turn up at school this Monday as she was meant to. In a rare interview with a journalist, she said she was stressed but had no regrets.

In the last interview she gave before she was effectively kidnapped, she said women in Tunisia are ready for change:

“That women have reached the height of self-determination: we no longer obey any authority, neither family nor religious. We know what we want and we make our own decisions.”

This is the wonderful woman we stand up for and with on 4 April.

Signatories to the call include: Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Egyptian Nude Photo Revolutionary; Caroline Fourest, Writer and Journalist; most recent film: “Our Breasts; Our Arms”; Darina Al-Joundi, Lebanese Actress and Author of “The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing”; Deeyah, Music Composer and Filmmaker; most recent film “Banaz: A Love Story” about an honour killing; Elia Tabesh, Iranian Women in Support of Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar; Inna Shevchenko, FEMEN Spokesperson; Kareem Amer, Egyptian Blogger; Kian Azar, Communist Youth Organisation; Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue; Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of International Committee against Stoning  and International Committee against Execution; Nadia El-Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker; most recent films “Neither Allah nor Master” and “Our Breasts; Our Arms”; Richard Dawkins, Scientist; Safia Lebdi, Co-founder of Neither Whores nor Submissives; and Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi Writer.

Are nudity and Islam completely incompatible? Do you see a time in which women in North Africa and the Middle East will be more free to show their bodies? How do you see what she did in a country like Tunisia?

All religions have a disturbing view of the female body. Islam is no different. The perfect woman under Islam is invisible. Islam is only worse in many ways because of its access to political power via the far-Right Islamic movement. Sharia law and Islamic states legislate and impose misogyny and perpetrate the debased view of women.

Women in North Africa and the Middle East will be freer the more Islam is relegated to a private affair and Islamism is pushed back from the public space. Actions like Amina’s help to challenge Islamism at its very core.

Islamism’s obsession with women’s bodies and its insistence that women be veiled, bound, and gagged means that nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.

Nudity is the antithesis of veiling. Of course it is not the only way to resist Islamism and the veil but it is a very modern way of doing so. Islamists want us covered up, hidden, and not seen and not heard; we refuse to comply.

But nudity is not just a protest against Islamism and religious misogyny. It is fundamentally a protest against discrimination, the commodification of women, and the religious and chauvinistic culture built upon it – which is why it is on the increase and has been a part of the women’s liberation movement for some time.

Commodification relies on an objectified image that is separate from the reality of women’s bodies, minds and lives. This image is used to regulate, control and suppress. And this is what religion and pornography share, albeit in different forms. The actuality and frankness of women’s bodies as a form of protest challenges and upsets both.

Nudity is deeply humanising and revolutionary because it challenges the religious/pornographic view of women’s bodies and reclaims a tool used for women’s suppression. Nudity outrages and offends because of this very challenge. [Read more...]

4 April 2013: International Day to Defend Amina; she represents us

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UPDATES AND MORE:

4 April 2013: Today is our day to defend our Amina

3 April 2013: For Amina: My body against political Islam. No Sharia.

3 April 2013: On 4 April, we will breast them!

2 April 2013: Why an International Day to Defend Amina?

2 April 2013: I have no regrets

28 March 2013: Free Amina, Free Tunisia: It is the same cry

27 March 2013: Amina must be back at school next week

25 March 2013: Don’t stop fighting for Amina!

23 March 2013:Let’s Breast Them

Farsi translation of letter: آمنه صداي ماست

22 March 2013: Release Amina Now!

21 March 2013: FEMEN Tunisia’s Facebook page hacked

19 March 2013: Amina represents me

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19 year old Tunisian Amina who posted a topless photo of herself bearing the slogan “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” has been threatened with death.

Islamist cleric Adel Almi, president of Al-Jamia Al-Li-Wassatia Tawia Wal-Islah, has called for Amina’s flogging and stoning to death saying Amina’s actions will bring misfortune by causing “epidemics and disasters” and “could be contagious and give ideas to other women…”

We, the undersigned, unequivocally defend Amina, and demand that her life and liberty be protected and that those who have threatened her be immediately prosecuted.

On 4 April 2013, we call for an International Day to Defend Amina.

Amina represents us all.

On the day and beyond, groups and individuals can join in by highlighting her case, posting topless photos of themselves and their activism on social media sites, signing a petition, Tweeting #Amina, writing letters in her defence, and more.

On 4 April, we will remind the Islamists and the world that the real epidemic and disaster that must be challenged is misogyny – Islamic or otherwise.

Signed

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Egyptian Nude Photo Revolutionary
Alina Isabel Pérez, Filmmaker
Amanda Brown, We are Atheism Founder
Annie Sugier, President of Ligue du Droit International des Femmes
Arash T. Riahi, Film Director
Caroline Fourest, Writer and Journalist; most recent film: “Our Breasts; Our Arms
Darina Al-Joundi, Lebanese Actress and Author of “The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing
Deeyah, Music Composer and Filmmaker; most recent film “Banaz: A Love Story” about an honour killing
Elia Tabesh, Iranian Women in Support of Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar
Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran
Fariborz Pooya, Iranian Secular Society
Farzana Hassan, Writer
Fatou Sow, President of the Groupe de recherche sur les femmes et les lois au Sénégal
FEMEN
Fiammetta Venner, Filmmaker and Writer
Greta Christina, Writer and Blogger
Houzan Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq
Inna Shevchenko, FEMEN Spokesperson
International Committee against Execution
International Committee against Stoning
Jacek Tabisz, President of Polish Rationalist Society
Joseph Paris, Radical Cinema
Kareem Amer, Egyptian Blogger
Kian Azar, Communist Youth Organisation
Marian Tudor, President of Romanian Association for Workers’ Emancipation
Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian Sociologist and founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Campaigner and Spokesperson for Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran and initiator of Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar
Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of International Committee against Stoning  and International Committee against Execution
Nadia El-Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker; most recent films “Neither Allah nor Master” and “Our Breasts; Our Arms
Nahla Mahmoud, Sudanese Researcher and Human Rights Activist
Nina Sankari, President of European Feminist Initiative Poland and Secularist
Richard Dawkins, Scientist
Rumy Hassan, Writer
Safia Lebdi, Co-founder of Neither Whores nor Submissives
Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Soad Baba Aïssa, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Sohaila Sharifi, Iranian Women’s Rights Campaigner
Sundas Hoorain, Pakistani Human Rights Lawyer
Tarek Fatah, Writer
Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi Writer

For more information on the International Day to Defend Amina, contact:

Maryam Namazie
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: [email protected]
web: http://www.maryamnamazie.com/
blog: http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/

Inna Shevchenko
FEMEN
tel: +33605857180
e-mail: [email protected]
web: http://femen.org/en

Amina represents me

amina An Islamist preacher says 19 year old Tunisian Amina (FEMEN Tunisia) who posted a topless photo of herself bearing the slogan “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” deserves to be stoned to death. A lawyer has said she may face up to 2 years’ imprisonment and fines as a result of her topless activism.

Someone identifying herself as Amina’s aunt denounced Amina’s actions on Youtube saying: “I hope she pays for her actions. She does not represent her country or Tunisian women.”

Well, Amina represents me and countless other women across the Middle East, North Africa, and the world.

Adel Almi, president of Al-Jamia Al-Li-Wassatia Tawia Wal-Islah, who called for Amina’s flogging and stoning to death said Amina’s actions will bring misfortune by causing “epidemics and disasters” and “could be contagious and give ideas to other women…”

Of course it has and will just as those of FEMEN or Aliaa Magda El-Mahdy.

I suggest we pick a date for a global day of topless action led by FEMEN to show him and his Islamist brethren what a “disaster” women are for misogyny – Islamic or otherwise.

October 2012: our naked body is our challenge

October 2012 is here. The photo for this month’s Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar is that of topless activist of the FEMEN movement, Alena Magelat.

By the way, here is her censored photo for Facebook since it doesn’t allow nudity…

The calendar is the idea of campaigner Maryam Namazie to support Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and join her ‘screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy’.

You can download the calendar or purchase it here and join the scream on Facebook or Tweet #NudePhotoRevolutionary Calendar.

To read Maryam Namazie’s interview with NOW Lebanon on ‘stripping for Iran’, click here.

To see extensive media coverage on the Nude Calendar, click here.

Religion not Pussy Riot is guilty of hooliganism

Three members of Pussy Riot were found guilty of ‘hooliganism’ driven by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in jail for staging an ‘obscene’ ‘punk prayer service’ at the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow as part of a protest against Putin.

If anything it is religion that is part of the hooliganism in society. What could be more hateful and obscene than a two year prison sentence for singing in a church?

FEMEN have the right idea. Watch then chainsaw a crucifix:

As I mentioned before, this is something I’d love to do in a mosque

British Police: You did the Islamic morality police proud

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join the FEMEN action against Sharia law and Islamism at the Olympics today as I am really sick and travelling tomorrow for a conference in Montreal (which I would most likely have missed since they were arrested).

Reza Moradi was there and filmed their action and the police’s brutal arrest. Interesting how the police were so pre-occupied with covering up their breasts and bodies.

British police: you did your Islamic morality counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan proud!

Talk about an upside down world. Regimes that have killed a generation, impose sex apartheid, and still stone people to death in the 21st century are given red carpet treatments by the Olympics Committee and this is what women’s rights campaigners get.

But not to worry, our day will come.

FEMEN activists arrested

Police were brutal towards the FEMEN activists protesting Sharia law and Islamist states in the Olympics. I got a text today saying that four activists had been arrested at their action today. This report says five.

Shame on the British police. They have arrested the wrong people.

There are plenty of representatives of Islamic states that should be arrested instead of women defending rights and opposing violence against women. But then we already know which side the ruling elite is on.

After all Islamism has merely annihilated an entire generation… But it is topless activists that must be brutalised and arrested!?

Topless activism against the Olympics and Sharia law

 

As you know, we’ve been involved in some protests against the International Olympics Committee’s violation of its principles of gender equality and neutrality with regards Islamic states, veiling and inequality. On 25 July, One Law for All co-organised an event on this at which activist Sundas Hoorain spoke. Here is her speech.

Tomorrow, FEMEN is organising another related event, which is demanding that the International Olympics Committee condemn violence against women via Islamist states. Femen demands that those states that apply Sharia law be shut out of the Olympic games, because of the inhumanity of Sharia laws, which are in total contradiction with Olympic principles.

With the support of the IOC, these Islamist governments are using their participation of women in the Olympic games to hide thousands of victims and dead.

FEMEN’s action will take place tomorrow at 11am. The meeting point for the media is 10.45am in front of the London House, near Tower Bridge.

Join FEMEN if you can tomorrow. We have to do all we can whilst attention is on the Olympics to show our opposition to Islamism and our support of women’s rights and equality.

For more information, contact: [email protected] / 0033662839340 or 0033663187245.

 

Nudity is freedom

I just got back from yesterday’s brilliant FEMEN Paris action in support of women in the Middle East and North Africa.

Most certainly, nudity is freedom…


Censored Femen: Paris Nudite – Liberte manifesto… by TECHNOLOGOS

In addition to FEMEN Activists and I, other protestors included popular Lebanese actress Darina Al Jondy and well-known French women’s rights activist Safia Lebdi. I have ‘No Sharia’ on my body and ‘I am not your honour’ on my arms; my sign says ‘I am not a commodity’ in Persian. Here’s a few more photos:

By the way, you can read an article in the Global Post on the Topless Revolution here.