Amina Tyler

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Amina Tyler
Amina Sboui

(1994-12-07) 7 December 1994 (age 27)

Amina Tyler[1] (Arabic: أمينة تايلر; born 7 December 1994[1] as Amina Sboui, أمينة السبوعي) is a Tunisian student, women's rights activist, and a former member of the feminist group Femen.[2]


Nude photo "My body is mine"[edit]

External images
image icon "My body is mine and not the source of anybody's honour"
image icon FEMEN cemetery wall

On 11 March 2013, Tyler was the first Tunisian woman to post a photograph of herself nude from the waist up on Facebook, with the phrase "My body is mine and not the source of anybody's honour" in Arabic.[3] The photo was seen as scandalous and evoked strong controversies within Tunisian society comparable to the nude self-portraits of the Egyptian Aliaa Magda Elmahdy two years earlier. On 16 March, the popular talk host Naoufel Ouertani invited her to his show on Ettounsiya where she appeared disguised by pixellation. She explained that it was not for sexual reasons that she appeared topless but to call out their demands for the women's liberation in a patriarchal society.[4]

Imam Adel Almi issued a fatwa for her to be punished with 100 lashes and stoned to death.[5]


On 19 May 2013 she painted the name "FEMEN" on a cemetery wall[6][7] in Kairouan, to protest against the annual congress of Salafi party Ansar al-Sharia. She was arrested and brought to Messaadine jail in Sousse.[8] She faced up to 1 year in prison[9]

Tyler's father, the medical doctor Mounir Sbouï, told the French newspaper Libération in an interview that his daughter made a mistake but didn't commit a crime. The long time militant and campaigner of the socialist Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties, who had left the party only after it joined the Troika government, said he was even proud of his daughter who "defended her ideas" and who also brought him to reconcile with his own values making him understand that one needs to be active.[10]

Maryam Namazie interviews Amina and Aliaa Elmahdy (8 March 2014).

International protests followed for her release from detention. On 29 May 2013, three FEMEN members held topless protest in front of the Tunis court to demand her release while shouting "Free Amina!" and "A women's spring is coming!" (a reference to the Arab Spring).[9] On 12 June 2013 a Tunisian judge convicted the two French and one German FEMEN members to four months and one day imprisonment for public indecency while protesting for the release of Tyler.[11] The protestors, Pauline Hillier, Marguerite Stern, and Josephine Markmann, were released on 26 June 2013 after a Tunisian court lifted their prison sentence.[12]

Amina Tyler was acquitted for contempt and defamation on 29 July 2013, but she remained jailed pending trial on a separate charge of desecrating a cemetery.[13][14][15]

Later activism[edit]

FEMEN had staged protests in front of the Tunisian embassy in Paris where they chanted 'Amina akbar! FEMEN akbar!' (referencing the Takbir) and in front of the Grand Mosque of Paris burning a Tawhid flag. Upon release in August 2013, Tyler declared that she was leaving the group in protest, adding that she thought FEMEN's actions in Paris were disrespectful to 'the religion of others' and because she saw a lack of financial transparency in the organisation. Inna Shevchenko reacted surprised: "It’s thanks to this campaign that Amina is out of prison."[16]

In 2013, Tyler moved to Paris,[17] where she completed high school and co-authored an autobiography, published in February 2014[17] under the title My Body Belongs to Me (ISBN 978-2259223157).[18][19] During International Women's Day on 8 March 2014, Tyler and seven other Arab and Iranian women, including Maryam Namazie and Aliaa Elmahdy, protested naked for women's rights at the Louvre Pyramid, chanting slogans in French in favour of freedom, equality and secularism (liberté, égalité et laïcité).[20][21][22]

In 2015, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.[23]


  1. ^ a b Girard, Quentin (5 September 2013). "Amina. Un nouveau dessein" (in French). Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Reaparece ante el juez la joven feminista tunecina Amina Tyler, que sigue detenida" (in Spanish). 5 June 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  3. ^ El País (25 May 2013). "Amina: sola frente a los radicales". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Verdammt, ein Busen! Ihr Name wird in deutschen Medien kaum erwähnt: Amina Tyler, die mit ihren Fotos für Aufruhr sorgte. Eine Rekonstruktion". Der Freitag (in German). 12 April 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Amina Tyler, condenada a morir a pedradas en Túnez". 2013. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Nawaat – Affaire Amina : ce que l'on sait sur son arrestation et les charges qui pèsent contre elle". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Nawaat – Amina en liberté conditionnelle". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Amina sera jugée le 30 mai à Kairouan" (in French). 23 May 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Trial begins in Tunisia of 'Femen' activist". Euronews. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  10. ^ Auffray, Elodie (5 June 2013). "Mounir Sboui. Père et fier d'Amina". Libération (in French). Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Femen activists jailed in Tunisia for topless protest". BBC News. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Femen activists jailed in Tunisia retract apology". The Guardian. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Tunisian Femen activist 'acquitted' of defamation". France 24. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Tunisia dismisses charge against Femen activist Sboui". Deutsche Welle. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  15. ^ Lisa Bryant (29 July 2013). "Tunisian Activist Acquitted Amid Growing Unrest". Voice of America. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Topless Tunisian teen activist dumps Femen, but still takes naked selfies". Vocativ. 20 August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  17. ^ a b Delphine de Mallevoüe & Lucile Quille (7 July 2014). "L'ex-Femen tunisienne Amina aurait été tondue en plein Paris | Le Figaro Madame". Madame Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  18. ^ Daniel Silas Adamson (28 November 2015). "100 Women 2015: Return of a topless rebel". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  19. ^ Laura Eduati (18 January 2015). "Amina Sboui: "Non rinnego la mia foto in topless. Dopo Charlie Hebdo, i musulmani devono chiedere di cambiare il Corano"". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  20. ^ Waleed Al-Husseini (10 March 2014). "Nude dancing in Louvre Museum Square: Proud "Arab" women atheists? | Adonis Diaries". Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Oben-ohne-Protest vor dem Louvre". Rheinische Post. 8 March 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  22. ^ Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya & Bahram Soroush (1 May 2014). "It is my body, 30 Apr 2014". Nano Golesorkh. Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  23. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2015: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2019.

External links[edit]