• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Femen HQ hit by fire after 'witches' death threat

AFP/The Local · 22 Jul 2013, 08:57

Published: 22 Jul 2013 08:57 GMT+02:00

A pre-dawn fire damaged the Paris office of the radical topless feminist group Femen on Sunday in what police were treating as an accident.

But the group called it a "disturbing coincidence", noting that the Paris branch, headquartered in a working-class district in the northeast of the city, had recently received a phone message calling the activists "witches" who should "burn".

The fire broke out at 5:00 am (0300 GMT) in a room where Ukrainian activist Inna Shevchenko, who was recently granted asylum in France, has been sheltering.

She was not present at the time, though several members of the group were sleep in the offices located on the building's second and top floors.

Among them were Pauline Hillier and Marguerite Stern, who were detained for nearly a month in Tunisia after a topless protest on May 29.

Firefighters said no one was injured.

But Hillier said the group was "shocked" by the incident and "would like to know what really happened".

She said: "We get death threats every day. Yesterday we received a message that said 'burn witches'.

"We find that there are many coincidences and this has happened just one week after the stamp controversy," she said.

Story continues below…

Shevchenko was said to have partly inspired a new stamp released on Bastille Day, France's national day, bearing the image of Marianne, the female symbol of the French Republic.

That sparked fierce controversy, with critics of Femen denouncing the new Marianne as a "Christianophobe, hater and ideologue".

Earlier this month Shevchenko provoked Muslim ire when she tweeted at the beginning of Ramadan: "What could be more stupid than Ramadan? What is uglier than this religion?"

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
Photo: AFP

The Brexit vote has prompted a mixed bag of reactions from the French public.

Opinion - Brexit seen from abroad
'Today it's hard not to feel ashamed to be British'
Photo: AFP

Apologies France, we may have just messed up your country too.

Brexit
French in UK: 'Brexit vote is clearly against foreigners'
The French Bookshop in London's Kensington. Photo: AFP

Spare a thought for the French people living in the UK right now. They didn't even get to vote.

Hollande: Brexit vote 'a grave test for Europe'
Photo: AFP

President Francois Hollande said on Friday that he already regrets the UK's "painful choice".

Brexit - Property
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
A house of sale in La-Faute-sur-Mer (Vendée). Photo: Frank Perry/AFP

The dream move to France may have to be put on hold or simply dropped.

Brexit
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Brits won't be forced home, of course, but are forced to live in limbo for a while. Photo: AFP

So what happens now for Brits in France? Nothing too dramatic, but a lot of uncertainty amid legal limbo.

Brexpats on Brexit
Brexit: Life for Brits in France will get more complicated
Will France still be paradise for British expats after a Brexit? Photo: Simon/FlickR

After Britain voted to leave the EU, here's a look at what an EU legal expert had to say about the possible knock on effects for expats in France.

France up next? Le Pen hails Brexit and demands vote

Friday's historic Brexit vote has sent tremors across the English Channel, where the political class had mixed reactions to the news that the UK had voted to leave the EU.

Worried after Brexit? Here's how to become French
Could it be time to become a French citizen? Photo: AFP

After the UK voted for Brexit, many Brits in France will no doubt explore the possibility of becoming a French citizen. Here's some guidance.

Brits in France left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Photo: AFP

After the UK voted to leave the EU and the pound was sent crashing, British nationals living in France have been left stunned and concerned about the future.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
National
IN PICTURES: Labour law protests in Paris turn ugly
National
Double murder just latest jihadist attack on French police and soldiers
International
French police appear unprepared for hooligan threat at Euro 2016
Sport
An A to Z guide of what to expect in France for Euro 2016
Sport
France bans matches from being shown on cafe terraces
National
Readers' views: 'If Brexit happens I'm becoming French just to stay in EU'
Technology
Should this be the new Metro map for Paris?
2,734
jobs available