A 19 year-old Tunisian activist by the name of Amina has reportedly been threatened with stoning to death for posting topless photos of herself on the website of women’s rights organization Femen. One of the photos shows the young woman smoking a cigarette with the Arabic words for "my body is my own and not the source of anyone’s honor" scrawled across her chest. In another (modified image below), she holds her middle fingers up to the camera, "fuck your morals" written in large block print on her torso. The Atlantic reports that the Salfi Islamic preacher who leads Tunisia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has called for Amina to be "stoned to death," and warns that her ideas "could be contagious and give ideas to other women." She has since been admitted to a mental institution, by her own family according to some reports. And even if spared from the most reactionary elements in society, she still reportedly faces up to two years in prison for posting the photographs.
In the days since Amina’s case came to light, people have been voicing their support on Twitter, while an online petition calling for Amina’s safety and the prosecution of those who have threatened her has reached over 80,000 names. Prominent scientist and The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins is among many calling for an international day of action in support of Amina on April 4th.
Not sure what to think of this movement: bit.ly/Y8UsUc except … it needs to spread through the Islamic world— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) March 24, 2013
Amina's Facebook page was taken down around the same time she was institutionalized, and Femen leader Inna Schevchenko, who had been in regular contact with the activist by phone hasn't heard from her in a week. Days before posting the shots online, Amina made an appearance on a Tunisian talk show, face obscured, discussing her desire to bring Femen to Tunisia, reports Jezebel. During the appearance, the host reportedly suggested that Amina be placed in a mental institution. But the reactions from talk show hosts and Islamist groups haven’t done much to quell support for Amina’s cause, as many other women from Tunisia and elsewhere continue to post topless photos of themselves online in solidarity.