Naked hikers face spot fines in Swiss canton

GENEVA Mon Feb 9, 2009 3:18am EST

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GENEVA (Reuters Life!) - Naked mountain hikers in the Swiss canton of Appenzell-Innerrhoden will in future face on the spot fines of 200 Swiss francs ($170), Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger reported over the weekend.

A wave of naked hiking -- particularly popular with German visitors -- outraged people last year in the traditionally minded canton, Switzerland's smallest by population, which gave women the vote only in 1990.

"We must protect our children from these immoral habits," the paper quoted Melchior Looser, head of the cantonal justice and police department, as saying.

Police succeeded in catching a naked hiker red-handed last September, and the 44-year-old Swiss man was charged with public nuisance. But the case has not yet been heard, leading the local authorities to push for a quicker way to deal with offenders.

It was not clear where the naked hikers would find the money, although hikers often carry rucksacks.

(Reporting by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Paul Casciato)

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