Three topless protesters from the women’s rights group Femen have been forcibly removed from outside the Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office at the German chancellery.
The bare-chested demonstrators shouted “Merkel free Femen” in protest against a visit from the Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh. Some of the women had written the names of three jailed Tunisian activists across their bodies.
The names referred to three Femen demonstrators, two French and one German, who are currently on trial in Tunisia for debauchery, following a topless demonstration in front of Tunisian Palace of Justice. The women, whose trial has recently been adjourned, face up to 6 months in prison.
The controversial demonstration in Tunis was held as a challenge to the arrest of a Tunisian member of the Ukranian-based Femen group, Amina Tyler. Tyler recently appeared before a judge for carrying an “incendiary object” after carrying out a protest in Kairouan.
Following talks with Larayedh, Merkel confirmed to reporters that the activists’ trial had been discussed, saying she “made clear the hope for a fair and reasonable handling.”
Larayedh urged that the incident “not be blown out of proportion” and said the women’s rights and dignity were being protected.