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CNN Today

Cover Up: Police Crack Down on Rio de Janeiro Public Nudity Ban

Aired January 18, 2000 - 2:36 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Beach-goers in Rio de Janeiro are not happy about a police directive to stop nude sunbathing.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Officers over the weekend began enforcing a ban on public nudity at a popular beach, and it wasn't pretty.

Here's CNN's Chris Riker.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS RIKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This day at the beach ended in jail for this man. His crime: protecting his wife's right to bare her breasts. In the end, police hauled off both the man and his wife. Police released the couple after they posted bail. Rio's T-shirt clad beach police were intent on making women at this beach cover up. To do that, they called in reinforcements: 20 officers in full uniform toting assault rifles. The crackdown even included air support. The new police directive against topless sunbathing has set off a wave of controversy in Rio's sand-and-sea community. Other beachgoers say the display of force was foolish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): ... to come here to this city, which is fighting violence, and waste time suppressing two or three women showing their breasts when it could be dealing with other problems.

RIKER: After the incident, Rio officials met with members of a nudist society to try to defuse the tensions over toplessness. In the meantime, many of the other beachgoers continue to go without.

Chris Riker, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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