Topless activists on trial over Notre Dame protest - WKRN News 2

Topless activists on trial over Notre Dame protest

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Michel Euler) (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
(AP Photo/Michel Euler). Leader of the feminist protest group Femen Ukrainian Inna Shevchenko, left, with other members of the group wearing flower crowns, arrive at court house in Paris, Wednesday July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler). Leader of the feminist protest group Femen Ukrainian Inna Shevchenko, left, with other members of the group wearing flower crowns, arrive at court house in Paris, Wednesday July 9, 2014.

PARIS (AP) - French prosecutors want activists who bared their breasts in Notre Dame Cathedral to pay thousands of euros in fines for damages.

Nine activists from feminist group Femen pounded a huge church bell in the landmark Paris cathedral in February 2013 to express anger at the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage, and to "celebrate" the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The activists, wearing T-shirts and garlands, went on trial in Paris on Wednesday in a case that pit arguments for freedom of speech against proponents of freedom of religion.

"We are asking for the reparation of moral and material damages because of damage done to the bells, and by extension to religious freedom in France," said a lawyer for Notre Dame, Laurent Devolve.

The prosecutor requested fines of 1,500 euros ($2,040) against each activist for charges of damaging property.

Femen leader Inna Shevchenko called for a larger discussion about the role of religion in France, which is strictly secular but has deep Roman Catholic roots.

"Religion is an untouchable subject. You can discuss whatever you want, but you cannot question if God exists or how absurd it is to apply rules or traditions of religion in secular state," she told reporters at the courthouse.

Also on trial were Notre Dame guards who pulled the activists off the bell, accused of acts of violence. The prosecutor requested suspended fines against the guards.

A verdict will be issued Sept. 10.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Parents of abducted girls, escapees meet president

    Parents of abducted girls, escapees meet president

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:22 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:22:08 GMT
    President Goodluck Jonathan is meeting with many parents of the 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and some classmates who managed to escape from Islamic extremists.More >>
    President Goodluck Jonathan met for the first time Tuesday with many parents of 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and dozens of classmates who managed to escape from their Islamic extremist captors.More >>
  • 11 parents of Nigeria's abducted girls die

    11 parents of Nigeria's abducted girls die

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:22 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:22:05 GMT
    About a dozen parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again.More >>
    Nearly a dozen parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again.More >>
  • Egypt calls for Israeli, Palestinian peace talks

    Egypt calls for Israeli, Palestinian peace talks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:12:44 GMT
    The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a...More >>
    The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a necessary...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210

Telephone: 615.369.7222
Fax: 615.369.7329
Email: news@wkrn.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Nashville, LLC. A Media General Company.