Six Czech tourists were arrested Friday in Kazakhstan for wearing mankinis, similar to those worn by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in the 2006 film "Borat", Kazakhstan news website informburo.kz reported Monday.
A group of Czech tourists have been arrested in Kazakhstan for donning Borat-style mankinis in the middle of the capital city. The men posed in front of an "I [heart] Astana" sign in 28-degree weather while being watched by police who arrested them.
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. In Kazakhstan law, hooliganism is any act that is "a particularly audacious violation of public order", including "committing indecent acts".
The maximum penalty is up to a year in prison or in a "corrective labour" camp, though that is usually reserved for violent offences.
"On Friday citizens of the Czech Republic were detained in a auto park near an exhibition center while posing in an indecent manner", said Sofya Kilyshebkova, a press spokesperson for the Kazakhstani interior ministry.
In the movie "Borat!". Baron Cohen also wrote and produced the comedy. Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which followed the title character to the U.S., has been banned.
The incident received mixed reactions from locals.
Borat is a controversial figure in Kazakhstan, with the character played by English comic Sacha Baron Cohen depicting the Central Asian nation as backwards, institutionally anti-Semitic and destitute.
Officials later lightened up on Borat - in 2012 the Kazakh foreign minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov publicly thanked the film for attracting more tourism to the country.