Legal

Topless ‘slut’ Catholic protester wins human rights case

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled a violation of women’s human rights after handing her a suspended prison sentence for protesting topless in front of a Catholic church.

On December 20, 2013, Eloise Bouton, then a member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, arrested the altar of the famous La Madeleine church in Paris to protest the Catholic Church’s strict ban on abortion.

Her protest performance included walking to the church altar topless, with the words “344 slut” written across her body, a reference to a famous open letter of 343 French women who admitted to having an abortion in 1971. They were called “salopes” — which translated to “sluts.” .

According to court documents, she also carried pieces of a calf’s liver to represent an aborted baby, according to court documents. She also wrote “Christmas Canceled” on the back.

In 2014, French courts sentenced her to a suspended prison sentence for sexual abuse, but this week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the ruling violated Bouton’s freedom of expression and that French courts must pay her 9,800 euros ($9,569.65) in damages, costs and expenses. .

The ruling stated that “the Court concluded that the District Courts did not strike a balance, in an appropriate manner, between the interests at stake and interference with the applicant’s freedom of expression.”

Bouton told , “I don’t believe in any positive outcome anymore, but the ruling is historic. It will set legal precedents, and what it means for women and militant feminists who use their bodies to protest is that they may now be allowed to do so in France.”

She said she believes the European Court of Human Rights ruling is a sign of progress since 2013, saying: “I don’t know if France will sue me for sexual exposure in 2022. There are still a lot of problems, of course, but we are moving forward.”

Smith

Tricare west is a global news publication that tells the stories you want to know.

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