Femen women stay in custody as Tunisia trial adjourned

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Femen women stay in custody as Tunisia trial adjourned

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The trial in Tunisia of three Femen activists who staged a topless protest has been opened and adjourned until next week. The women will remain in custody.

Outside the court several dozen people demonstrated against the women – two French and one German – following their protest last week in support of a Tunisian activist.

“We are in an Arab and Muslim country. We have our habits and traditions. They came here and they offended our Tunisian moral values,” said one female demonstrator.

Lawyers for the three women argued unsuccessfully for them to be freed. They say they are relieved the activists are charged with debauchery rather than the more serious offence of breaching public morals.

“I saw them very briefly. I hope they’ll be morally strong with enough courage to bear this situation,” said Yvan Terrel, one of the lawyers.

In Ukraine another Femen activist has arrived home after being deported from Tunisia, where she had gone to support the women who were on trial.

Oleksandra Shevchenko was expelled as soon as she arrived in the North African country.

The authorities said they feared another topless protest.