The French embassy in London resembled a seaside resort as women gathered at a makeshift beach to protest following an online image apparently showing a French police officer forcing a Muslim woman to remove her tunic.
It comes after a ban by some French authorities on burkinis, a type of tunic with a headdress worn by some Muslim women to keep their bodies covered on the beach.
In France there are strict rules surrounding religious dress.
Critics who described the ban, and the image of the police officer, as “humiliating” and “Islamophobic” gathered at the embassy, where they built a makeshift beach and wore different types of swimwear.
Organiser India Thorogood, 25, who planned the event less than 24 hours in advance via a Facebook group, said it is “unacceptable” that men should tell women what to wear, and that French authorities are specifically “targeting” Muslim women.
But the support was not unanimous, as the display was interrupted by a woman who stormed the “beach” and complained that campaigners for women’s rights ought to focus more on education.