The controversial Tunisian activist known as Amina, who posted topless pictures of herself online as part of the Femen activist campaign earlier this year, was arrested Sunday in Kairouan.
She had announced Friday on her Facebook page that she would appear in Kairouan in anticipation of the expected annual congress of the Salafist organization Ansar al-Sharia, and would protest against that group. The gathering was canceled, but there was a strong security presence along with a number of journalists.
Around fifty onlookers surrounded Amina when she made her appearance on Sunday, some yelling at her and demanding that she leave, according to a Tunisia Live reporter on the ground in Kairouan. After about five minutes, she was arrested and escorted to a police van. Video of the arrest was posted online by the Nawaat blog.
Amina appeared to have painted the word“Femen” on the wall of a cemetery near the al-Okba mosque, along with anti-Salafist slogans, but she did not expose herself at any point.
The Ministry of Interior asserted that a young woman was arrested in Kairouan on charges of “immoral acts,” according to state news agency TAP, referring to Amina.
In March, Amina became the first Tunisian to participate in the campaign of the Ukraine-based Femen activist group, posting topless pictures of herself online with political slogans painted on her torso. Such protests are the primary tactic of the organization’s activism, and Amina became a focus of Femen’s international campaigns during a period in which the group claimed she was being held against her will by family members.
At least two people interviewed on Tunisian radio station Mosaique FM since the arrest threatened to take legal action against Amina for her actions in Kairouan.