Madrid councillor Maestre acquitted over chapel bra protest

Screengrab of tweet from Rita Maestre says: "Thanks. From my heart. With you!"Image copyright
Twitter – @rita_maestre

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Tweet from Ms Maestre reads: “Friends, colleagues, sisters: thanks. From my heart. With you!”

A Spanish court has acquitted on appeal a spokeswoman for Madrid’s city council who was fined for taking her top off inside a chapel during a protest five years ago.

Rita Maestre, 27, had been ordered to pay 4,380 euros ($4,561; £3,670) for “infringing on freedom of conscience and religious convictions”.

But an appeal court said her act was disrespectful but not desecration.

Some of her colleagues went completely topless during the protest.

The group of some 50 people burst into the chapel at Madrid’s Complutense University and yelled anti-Vatican and women’s rights slogans.

They said the protest was against the Roman Catholic Church’s “antidemocratic and chauvinistic” positions.

Ms Maestre, a councillor with the anti-austerity party Podemos and former student of the far-left party’s leader Pablo Iglesias, took off her T-shirt, showing her bra.

The protest sparked an outcry in Spain, and Ms Maestre became a target of Spanish conservatives.

In March, a court found her guilty and imposed the fine. But an appeal court cancelled the sentence, considering that “inadequate clothing or certain inappropriate gestures” were not “an act of desecration”.

On Twitter, she said: “Good news for freedom of expression. I’m happy, satisfied and proud. Thanks from my heart to those who have followed me these years.”

Madrid councillor Maestre acquitted over chapel bra protest

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