Lawyer: Tunisian member of Femen freed from jail

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A Tunisian member of Femen, the Ukrainian women's rights group, was freed from jail on Thursday after spending more than two months behind bars, one of her lawyers said.

Bahri Souhaib told The Associated Press that Amina Sboui was provisionally freed. The 19-year-old is waiting to be tried on a single charge, profanation of a cemetery, after a charge of insulting a public servant was dropped on Monday.

Sboui was arrested May 19 for allegedly scrawling Femen on a cemetery wall in the city of Kairouan, protesting a planned conference of ultra-conservative Muslims.

The young woman's parents, en route to fetch her when contacted, were overjoyed.

"I think it is the end of the ordeal for our daughter," Mounir Sboui, her father, said by telephone.

He saluted the "independence of the justice" and said he was persuaded that his daughter would be acquitted" for a charge he claimed was "unfounded."

Sboui shocked Tunisians in March by posting topless photos of herself online to denounce the mistreatment of women, using the seminude protest favored by Femen. She was later arrested in May for scrawling the name of the group on the wall of the Kairouan cemetery.

Tunisia has long been known as one of the most progressive Arab states, especially in terms of women's rights, but Sboui's case has challenged the limits of tolerance, especially of a government controlled by Islamists.

The case of Sboui, who originally went by the pseudonym Amina Tyler, has attracted international attention, not the least from her fellow Femen members who staged a topless protest in front of the Tunis courthouse on May 29 and called for her freedom. The three women, one German and two French, were arrested and sentenced to four months in prison for offending public morals and threatening public order. Their sentences were later suspended in an appeal, and they were allowed to return to Europe.

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The mission of the "FEMEN" movement is to create the most favourable conditions for the young women to join up into a social group with the general idea of the mutual support and social responsibility, helping to reveal the talents of each member of the movement.

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