France's former conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has branded the full-body burkini swimsuits worn by some Muslim women a "provocation" that he says supports radicalized Islam.
A series of local town bans on burkinis in France has set off a heated debate in the strictly secular country. Sarkozy says in a TV interview Wednesday night that "we don't imprison women behind fabric."
As a leading opposition figure, Sarkozy announced this week that he is running for the presidency again in next spring's election. He must first win the primaries organized by the French right in November, where he's expected to face tough competition.