Spanish high court backs man's right to walk naked in the street
MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish high court has ruled in favour of a man who was fined for walking naked through the streets of a town in the region of Valencia and later tried to attend a court hearing in the nude.
In a statement, the region's high court said it had struck down an appeal against a lower court decision to annul fines handed out to the man for being naked in the streets of Aldaia, a town on the outskirts of the regional capital.
The court, however, acknowledged a "legal vacuum" in Spanish law regarding public nudity.
Alejandro Colomar, 29, was filmed arriving at court wearing just a pair of hiking boots before being ordered to put more clothes on to enter the building. At his trial, he argued that the fines infringed on his right to ideological freedom.
He told Reuters he began stripping off in public in 2020 and has received more support than insults when walking about naked, although he was once threatened with a knife.
"The fine doesn't make any sense," he said. "They accused me of obscene exhibitionism. According to the dictionary that implies sexual intent and (that) has nothing to do with what I was doing."
Public nudity has been legal in Spain since 1988. Anyone can walk naked down a street without being arrested, but some regions such as Valladolid and Barcelona have introduced their own laws to regulate nudism, especially away from the beach. The court noted that Aldaia has no law prohibiting nudism.
The Valencia court ruled Colomar had "limited himself to remaining or circulating naked at different times in two different streets of Aldaia," and his behaviour did not imply an "alteration of citizen security, tranquility or public order".
(Reporting by Charlie Devereux, Eva Mañez, Emma Pinedo and David Latona; editing by Mark Heinrich)