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Women pledge to go braless in solidarity with Sea-Watch captain

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Hundreds of women have pledged not to wear bra on Saturday in solidarity with Carola Rackete, the captain of a German migrant sea rescue ship.

The #freenipplesday initiative, is a response to right-wing Italian tabloid Libero denouncing Rackete for her “boundless effrontery” after she appeared in public seemingly not wearing a bra.

“A little bit more decency would not have gone amiss,” the paper said last week about Rackete’s July 18 court of justice appearance in Agrigento, Sicily, for an interrogation by prosecutors.

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“We are calling for a day in which we can affirm the right not to wear a bra without this being cause for being taken less seriously,” five women, who initiated the #freenipplesday protest wrote on Facebook.

About 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) Wednesday, more than 270 people had joined the Facebook event and about 220 had expressed an interest in it.

Rackete, who works for the Sea-Watch charity, is a criminal suspect in Italy because she took 40 migrants to the island of Lampedusa on June 29, ignoring orders not to enter Italian territorial waters.

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The affair has made her a public – and polarising – figure, amid the wider and long-running controversy over the European Union’s response to the influx of migrants from North Africa.

Some of the most vocal criticism of Rackete has come from Italy’s right-wing Deputy Premier and Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini.

He has called her a “criminal” and “potential murderer.”

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