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Tunisian feminist who staged topless protest 'fears for her life'

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  • Chris King
    Tunisian feminist who staged topless protest fears for her life Woman known only as Amina received death threats after appearing in photos aimed at
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 2013

      Tunisian feminist who staged topless protest 'fears for her life'

      Woman known only as Amina received death threats after appearing in photos aimed at supporting women's rights

      • Associated Press in Tunis
      • guardian.co.uk, Sunday 7 April 2013 18.39 BST
      Femen activists hold pictures of Amina in Stockholm
      Swedish members of the women's rights group Femen hold pictures of Amina, in support of her protest. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

      A 19-year-old Tunisian who bared her breasts and taunted Muslim hardliners has said that she now fears for her life and wants to take refuge abroad.

      The woman known only as Amina appeared in photographs on Facebook last month with the words: "My body belongs to me" scrawled on her bare chest. The move was a particularly bold act in a Muslim country led by moderate Islamist party, Ennahda.

      Amina's act was inspired by the Ukraine-based group Femen, which stages topless protests for women's and gay rights. The group held an event called International Topless Jihad day last Thursday in support of Muslim women, including Amina.

      Amina went into hiding after reportedly receiving death threats, prompting rumours over her whereabouts, including one that she had been interned in a psychiatric hospital. But she reappeared in an interview broadcast on Saturday with the French cable TV station Canal Plus in a village, far from the Tunisian capital where she's been hiding.

      Amina told Canal Plus that she "must leave Tunisia".

      "I'm afraid for my life and the lives of my family," she said, adding that she doesn't think it possible to return to school in Tunisia and wants to study journalism abroad.

      Amina made an earlier TV appearance with a private Tunisian channel, in mid-March, with her face blurred. She insisted her action had not aimed to provoke. "We Femen, we have the courage to cry out our demands to liberate women," she said at the time.

      Amina told Canal Plus that although she fears for her life in her homeland, she will keep her Femen principles "until I'm 80."

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