topless woman, 19, threatened with death by stoning then shipped off to psych ward
Amina is a 19 year old Tunisian woman who risked imprisonment and corporal punishment for baring her breasts in defiance. Reports suggest she has been committed to a psychiatric hospital by her family after she appeared on Tunisian television explaining her decision to join the radical feminist group, Femen.
A video posted on Free Thought Blog appears to show the young woman being abducted.
Amina posted images of herself on the Femen-Tunisia Facebook page. In one, she wrote ‘Fuck your morals’ across her chest. In another, she wrote in Arabic: ‘My Body is My Own and Not the Source of Anyone’s Honour.’
Tunisian newspaper Kapitalis quoted the Wahabi Salafi preacher Almi Adel, who heads the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, saying: ‘The young lady should be punished according to sharia, with 80 to 100 lashes, but [because of] the severity of the act she has committed, she deserves to be stoned to death.’
According to the Huffington Post, Amina risks being punished by up to two years in prison and fined 100 to 1,000 dinars for her actions.
Femen member Inna Shevchenko rebuffed a statement, allegedly from Amina’s aunt, that the girl is with her family after deciding to kill herself. She was of the opinion that the statement was a way to smother Amina’s voice. The Femen leader said that it was ‘a typical way of reacting to a woman’s demand to be free – they say she’s gone crazy or is being too emotional.’
Other reports suggest that the decision to hide Amina will protect her from the risk of stoning, violence in the name of honour, or imprisonment.
Campaigners including Richard Dawkins and Shevenko have signed an open letter in defence of Amina. The statement on Freethought Blog, signed by several secular and feminist activists, reads:
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 the 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.
The petition on Change.org has received over 87,000 signatures.
Femen has issued a statement calling on women to ‘fight for their freedom against religious atrocities’ and to ‘use your body as a poster for the slogans of freedom. Bare breasts against Islamism.’