A month or so back, Ella was highly critical of the actions of the Femen group in Tunisia.
With less media coverage, the Tunisian courts upheld the charges against them, but suspended the sentence, meaning they were free to return to Paris a couple of weeks back. (News reporting video of their being freed is here, and France24 reports it in word form here ).
What’s telling is how much bravura the trio had in the light of prison sentences, apologising profusely, wearing Tunisian veils in court, and saying they didn’t know how much of a scandal it would create. I’m firmly in agreement with Ella’s analysis here. Perhaps Femen need to put some more forethought into their protests, and perhaps have more backbone when courts jail them. I would suggest that, in the round, Femen have only appeared stupid, and lacking any sort of spine, a double-whammy that probably undermined their purpose. And then, of course, once they were freed, their courage returned, and they rather pitifully retracted their apology. Forgive me, but in doing so it seems all they’ve done is further weaken Femen activists who may find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Femen ‘apologies’ can now be seen as having no real sincerity in them; they’re just a mechanism to evade jail.
With each ‘action’, it now seems that Femen become more and more ridiculous.
Perhaps it’s worth reprinting Pookes’ less verbal analysis of the entire affair 🙂