Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/19 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/19 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/19 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/19 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/17 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/19 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/19 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/19 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

Femen protesters let off by Paris court over Notre Dame topless protest

media The Femen protest in Notre-Dame Cathedral Reuters/Charles Platiau

Nine members of the breast-baring feminist movement Femen have been declared not guilty of causing wilful damage to a bell in Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral in a demonstration in 2013. Three of the cathedral’s security officers were found guilty of manhandling them.

A Paris court on Wednesday let off all nine Femen members accused of damaging the bell when they burst into Notre Dame, breasts bared and shouting “Pope no more!” and “Clear off, homophobe!”, and struck three new bells waiting to hung with pieces of wood.

Their demonstration was organised to mark the resignation of pope Benedict XVI in February 2013.

Women's rights in France - given or taken?

The court found that it was impossible to tell whether they were responsible for damage caused to one of the bells and that no intention to cause damage had been proved since they had covered the wood with felt, according to their lawyer Michaël Ghnassia.

But it did find three of Notre Dame’s security guards guilty of assaulting them when they put an end to the protest and bundled out of the cathedral, handing them suspended fines of 300 euros, 500 euros and 1,000 euros.

“We’re very satisfied with this decision,” Ghnassia told the Reuters news agency. “Legal arguments won the day in a case where emotion was running high.”

Femen had threatened to “invade all Catholic sites with our holy breasts”, if they were found guilty.

There was indignation in right-wing Catholic circles after the verdict was announced.

The court had signed a “permit to damage and for non-respect of our holy places”, abbé Pierre-Hervé Grosjean a priest at Saint-Cyr, near Paris, tweeted.

Former housing minister Christine Boutin, who heads the small Christian Democrat Party, declared the judgement shameful, claiming that it has legalised the “right to unabashed blasphemy”.

Another former minister and well-known opponent of gay marriage, Thierry Mariani of the mainstream right UMP, dubbed it an “encouragement to all provocateurs”.

One of the Femen members found not guilty on Wednesday is to appear in court again on 15 October.

Eloïse Bouton is accused of sexual exhibitionism after having mimed an abortion in front of the altar of Paris’s Madeleine Church shortly before Christmas last year.

She has since left the movement.
 

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.