Czech men arrested after stripping down to mankinis in Kazakh capital

Matthew Day
The men stripped down to their underwear in sub-zero temperatures in the Kazakhstan capital - REUTERS

Six Czech men were arrested in Kazakhstan after they stripped down to neon-green Borat-style “mankinis” in the capital city Astana.

The six ran into trouble after posing by a sign saying “I Love Astana” in their thong swimwear, and curly wigs, despite the freezing temperatures currently gripping Kazakhstan.

The green mankini, which leaves most of the body uncovered, became famous after being worn by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in the hit film Borat, about the adventures of fictional, racist and sexist Kazakhstani television personality.

“On Friday citizens of the Czech Republic were detained in a car park near an exhibition centre while posing in an indecent manner,” said Sofya Kilyshebkova, a press spokeswoman for the Kazakhstani interior ministry. “They were charged with a public order offence.”

Their motives for wearing the mankini in sub-zero temperatures have yet to become public but for the stunt an Astana court fined the six Czechs about £51 each.

The item was made famous by Sacha Baron Cohen in the film Borat

Although some citizens of the Central Asian country found the story amusing, others took to the internet to vent their anger at the Czechs, with one posting on newtimes, a Kazakhstani news website, that the police “should have left them to freeze”.

Another wrote that the “insolent foreigners should have been put in prison for 15 days.”

Some of the anger aimed at the Czechs could stem from lingering resentment in Kazakhstan over the way the country was portrayed in the Borat film. According to Borat, the local wine, for example, is made from horse urine, and gay men have to wear blue hats.

At the time of its release in 2006 Kazakhstan banned the film and threatened to sue Mr Baron Cohen, who had also written and produced Borat along with starring in it.

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