A court in Switzerland has upheld the appeal of a man who was fined for rambling naked.
The court in Trogen ruled that the naked hiking did not amount to indecent behaviour .
The case was the first since the eastern Swiss canton of
Appenzell allowed naked hikers to be fined. Appenzell has become a popular destination for those who like to hike without clothes, but some locals are unhappy about the trend.
The hiker in question was fined 100 Swiss francs (70 euros, £60)
after eyewitnesses complained that he had been hiking in full view of a communal barbecuing area. They also say he walked past a Christian care home, whose residents saw him.
Swiss federal law states that public nudity is not a crime.
Voters in the Swiss Alps have passed legislation banning naked hiking after dozens of mostly German nudists started rambling through their picturesque region.
By a show of hands, citizens of the tiny canton of Appenzell Inner Rhodes voted
overwhelmingly at their open-air annual assembly to impose a SFr200 (£120) fine on violators. Only a scattering of people opposed the ban.
The cantonal government recommended the ban after citizens objected to encountering walkers wearing
nothing but hiking boots and socks.
The reactions of the population have shown that such appearances over a large area are perceived as thoroughly disturbing and irritating, the government stated.
A similar legal move is expected
in the neighbouring canton, Appenzell Outer Rhodes.
When the first nude walkers came over the border the tranquil, neutrality-loving Swiss tried to pretend it wasn’t happening.
Now the Swiss authorities are trying to fend off hordes of German ramblers dressed in nothing more than a rucksack
and walking boots. The influx appears to have been started after a German mountaineering website declared the Swiss wilderness a paradise for naked ramblers.
We have been receiving many complaints, Markus D๖rig, a spokesman
for the government of the Appenzell Innerrhoden canton, told The Times. The local people are upset and we in the government share their concern. How would one feel if one was to go walking in nature and suddenly came across a group of naked people?
When police in the eastern Appenzeller region arrested a group of German nudists they had to apologise and let them go as there was no law against rambling in one’s birthday suit.
Swiss legislators have spent the winter trying to
find a solution and now they are ready to act. A law stipulating that naked walking is a crime is expected to be enacted this spring. A fine will leave nude ramblers ฃ120 out of pocket — providing they have any — or facing further legal
action if they are unable to pay on the spot.
The Bill will be approved by the local parliament on February 9 and should come into force on April 26, when the canton’s citizens gather at the Appenzell town square for an annual vote on legal
Germany, where freik๖rperkultur — free body culture — is a respectable pastime, is aghast. The tabloid Bild Zeitung wrote a sniffy editorial about Swiss intolerance and listed nudist alternatives around the world,
hinting at a boycott of Switzerland as a tourist destination.