UK protesters have gathered outside the French embassy in London to condemn a recent decision by several French cities to ban Islamic swimwear at public beaches.
Campaigners armed with beach accessories held “free to wear what we want” signs outside the embassy on Thursday where a pile of sand was also dumped in protest.
The participants also held signs denouncing Islamophobia in France. Some of the protesters were wearing a burkini, a swimsuit which covers the body and head.
“We’re here to show anger over the burkini ban in France; so many people are shocked by it,” explained Yasmin, a protestor outside the embassy.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that in 2016 governments have the right to tell people what they can and can’t wear,” she added. “What I think is more shocking is that France is a country that screams “fraternity, liberty and egality”, but none of that is reflected in the burkini ban.”
Another protestor said: “It’s a protest in response to the French police’s violation of the Muslim woman on the beach by forcing her to strip off her burkini surrounded by armed police officers … so I’m here in solidarity for the right of all women to choose whatever we put on our bodies.”