Monday, 26 July 2010
Jordanian police give lettuce lady a dressing down
An animal rights protester clad in lettuce leaves drew a crowd in the Jordanian capital Amman, but also got the attention of city police. Officers led Amina Tariq, a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), to a restaurant where she could change out of her leafy garb.
The activist and a colleague were then taken to a police station and held for three hours before being released. Police said the group had failed to obtain permission for Sunday's protest.
Peta has staged similar pro-vegetarian protests in other countries - including Nigeria, the Philippines and the UK - with scantily-clad "lettuce ladies" covering their modesty with green leaves.
But in dress-sensitive Amman, Jordanian-Muslim Ms Tariq was fully clothed beneath her outer salad dressing. She carried a placard reading "Let vegetarianism grow on you".
However, police were not amused by the scene at a busy roundabout which was watched by a growing crowd and passing motorists. "She failed to obtain permission to demonstrate as required by law," one police officer told AFP news agency.
But senior Peta campaigner Ashley Fruno, who was with Ms Tariq at the police station, said she was puzzled by the police reaction.
"We contacted the Jordanian authorities a month ago and they told us we did not need permission because it is not an actual protest since there would be one person involved," she said. "I have no idea what happened today."
Peta says a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier for humans, kinder to animals and better for the environment.