Sunbather beaten up by girls for wearing bikini
French social networks exploded with anger yesterday after a 21-year-old woman was reportedly beaten up by a gang of girls and young women for wearing a bikini in a park.
Authorities have not identified the attackers but most commentators have assumed they were Muslims.
Yesterday, protesters organised a demonstration in bikinis and other bathing costumes in the park where the attack occurred, in Reims, in northern France.
Although drizzle and cold winds meant only about a dozen people turned out, hundreds across France responded to a Twitter appeal by the anti-racist organisation SOS Racisme to post images of themselves wearing skimpy bathing costumes in public places, under the hashtag #jeportemonmaillotauparc (I wear my swimsuit in the park). The five attackers, aged 16 to 24, were quickly arrested and the three oldest have been remanded to appear in court in September, while two girls aged 16 and 17 face further questioning.
The authorities said that they all came from housing estates with large Muslim populations. Far-right bloggers seized on the incident as an example of an alleged radical Islamic threat to French values.