A group of tourists from the Czech Republic were arrested in Kazakhstan after they donned revealing swimsuits called mankinis.

The six men in curly wigs posed in freezing temperatures in the capital by a sign saying "I Love Astana" while wearing the costume made famous by the fictional Kazakh character Borat, played by comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen.

The swimsuit is a Speedo stretched over the wearer's shoulders.

"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 spokeswoman for the Kazakhstani interior ministry.

"They were charged with a public order offence." The group were each fined 22,500 Tenge ($67; £51).

The film by Baron Cohen still remains a sore point in the post-Soviet state headed by Nursultan Nazerbayev. While it has boosted tourism to the country, the 2006 film Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which followed the title character to the US, has been banned.

Astana
An image of the Czech men wearing mankinis in the Kazakh capital of Astana appeared on Instagram. zhaloby_astana via Instagram

After the arrests of the Czech men last week, many took to social media to criticise their actions.

Journalist Assem Mirjekeeva wrote on Facebook: "I wonder how would the Czech authorities react if our citizens did the same in their country?"

Meanwhile Facebook user Vitaliy Shuptar wrote: "I think they would have not reacted. It is because our police are so sensitive.

"They should have had a criminal charge for insulting the honour of the nation," another poster said.