• France's news in English
Femen welcome Rouhani with mock hanging on Paris bridge
Femen protester hangs from the bridge. Photo: AFP

Femen welcome Rouhani with mock hanging on Paris bridge

The Local/AFP · 28 Jan 2016, 14:10

Published: 28 Jan 2016 14:10 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Rouhani is in Paris on a historic visit to France organized after a deal was struck with the west over its controversial nuclear programme.

But while Rouhani himself is keen to highlight the business opportunities in Iran, members of Femen, who call themselves “sextremists”, had other ideas.

They wanted to highlight Iran’s record on human rights and in particular the number of people put to death each year in Iran.

And the group went to extreme lengths to offend Rouhani, fresh from a visit to Italy where naked statues had to be covered up to spare his blushes.

To prove their point, Femen staged a mock hanging over the River Seine, not far from the Eiffel Tower.

With an Iranian flag painted over her naked breasts, images showed a woman hanging from the bridge as barges and tourist boats passed underneath.

The stunt was carried out to coincide with the passing of Rouhani's cortege. It is not clear whether the Iranian president caught a glimpse of the the semi-naked protester.

As she hung from the Debilly bridge, supported by ropes, above the Seine a banner was unfurled that read: “Welcome Rouhani, Executioner of Freedom.”

The group’s leader Inna Shevchenko tweeted: “We just wanted Rouhani to feel like home.”

Police moved in quickly to lead the protester away and they confiscated the banner.

Rouhani himself called on Thursday for a new relationship with France as he met business leaders on a trip to Paris to revive economic ties after sanctions on his country were lifted.

"We are ready to turn the page" and establish a "new relationship between our countries", Rouhani said at a meeting organized by the Medef employers' association.

"Let us forget the resentment," he said, calling for all sides to take advantage of the "positive atmosphere" after the removal of the sanctions.

Story continues below…

A raft of commercial deals are expected to be signed during Rouhani's visit.

French carmaker Peugeot announced its official return to Iran with a deal to produce 200,000 cars a year, and Rouhani is expected to announce Tehran's intention to buy more than 100 passenger planes from European aircraft maker Airbus.

The Local/AFP (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available