Court OKs Hiking Fines
November 18, 2011 by staff
Court OKs Hiking Fines, Switzerland’s highest court has ruled that local authorities can impose fines on people hiking n*de in the Alps.
The federal court threw out an appeal by a man who was fined after hiking past a family picnic area with no clothes on.
Judges said the eastern canton (region) of Appenzell had been entitled to uphold a law on public decency.
They said the ban on n*ked hiking was only a marginal infringement on personal freedom.
Although Switzerland does not have a law against public nudity it does have one against public indecency.
The man had been fined 100 Swiss francs (£69; $109) after he walked n*ked past a family with small children at a picnic area and a Christian rehabilitation centre for drug users in Appenzell.
“It is not overly high-handed to qualify n*ked hiking as a breach of decency customs,” the court said in a statement.
The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says n*ked hiking is an increasingly popular pastime in Switzerland.
However, Appenzell is a deeply devout and conservative canton – it only granted women the right to vote in 1990 – and the influx of n*ked hikers has offended many local people, she adds.
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