Topless Femen activist hangs from Paris bridge in anti-Rouhani protest

The activist staged a mock execution next to a banner that hung from the Debilly Footbridge above her, reading "Welcome Rouhani, executioner of freedom."

January 28, 2016 13:43
1 minute read.

Femen activist in demonstration hanging against Rouhani.

Femen activist in demonstration hanging against Rouhani.


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A topless activist from the international women's rights movement Femen hung from a bridge in Paris on Thursday, in protest over Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the French capital.

Her chest painted with the Iranian flag, the activist staged a mock execution, as a banner hung from the Debilly Footbridge above her, reading "Welcome Rouhani, executioner of freedom."

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"We organized this public display as a little reminder of the fact that every year, more than 800 people are sentenced to death in his country," Femen France's spokesperson Sarah Constantin explained.

"Among them are women, feminists, homosexuals, and free-thinkers who are rotting on death row, just because they are free-thinkers. And Francois Hollande doesn't take any of this into account. He is welcoming him [Rouhani] at the Elysee Palace this afternoon to have a quiet cup of tea and sign a few contracts, and to sell him a few Airbuses. It shows that Francois Hollande doesn't care about human rights; the only thing he cares about is business," she added.

Iran was putting the finishing touches to a deal to buy over 100 Airbus passenger jets, during a visit to Paris aimed at reviving business ties despite diplomatic differences.

Rouhani told French business leaders after arriving in France on Wednesday that Iran was open for investment, as he continued his first trip abroad since Iran's sanctions-ending nuclear accord with world powers took effect.

France will also sign deals in the areas of health, agriculture and the environment with Iran, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

Rouhani is also due to deliver a speech to business leaders on Thursday at a Franco-Iranian forum.

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