Topless FEMEN ‘hangs’ herself on Paris bridge to protest Rouhani’s visit (VIDEO)

A topless activist of women's rights group FEMEN hangs from a bridge as they stage a protest against Iran's President Hassan Rouhani visit to Paris, France, January 28, 2016 © Charles Platiau
A topless FEMEN protester hung from a bridge in Paris on Thursday, staging a mock execution to protest Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the city. The leader came to the French capital to sign off on a business deal between the two countries.

As the woman hung by a rope from the Debilly bridge, a banner above her read “Welcome Rouhani, executioner of freedom.” The activist had an Iranian flag painted across her chest.

The stunt was designed to coincide with the passing of Rouhani's convoy, though it remains unclear whether the Iranian president caught a glimpse of the topless woman.

FEMEN's leader, Inna Shevchenko, later tweeted that the group “just wanted Rouhani to feel like home.”

"We organized this public display as a little reminder of the fact that every year, more than 800 people are sentenced to death in his country," said FEMEN France spokesperson Sarah Constantin, as quoted by Reuters.

Hollande “is welcoming him at the Elysee Palace this afternoon to have a quiet cup of tea and sign a few shows that Francois Hollande doesn't care about human rights; the only thing he cares about is business," she added.

The Iranian president arrived in the French capital to sign off on a deal to buy over 100 Airbus planes from France. Other deals regarding health, agriculture and the environment are also scheduled to be signed, according to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

This is Rouhani's first visit to Europe since the EU lifted sanctions against his country, following an announcement from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Tehran had fulfilled all the measures under its deal with the P5+1 group (US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany). 

The Iranian president is due to deliver a speech to business leaders on Thursday at a Franco-Iranian forum.

Founded in Ukraine but now based in Paris, FEMEN has become internationally notorious for their topless protests. The group's members ‒ who call themselves “sextremists” ‒ often demonstrate against sexism, homophobia and other social issues.