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Thursday, November 28, 2013

French Burqa Ban Challenged in Top European Court Wed Nov 27,2013

Europe’s top rights court on Wednesday Nov 27,2013 began hearing a challenge to France’s ban on the Islamic face veil from a woman who argued the so-called burqa ban violated her religious freedom

The woman who brought the case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the French city of Strasbourg told the court she wore the niqab on occasion, with no pressure from her husband or family.
She argued that banning the garment in public was a breach of her privacy, her freedom of religion and her freedom of expression and also exposed her to public harassment.

The case is being heard by the Grand Chamber of the court, which is made up of 17 judges from different countries.

Wearing a garment that conceals the face is banned in public under a law dating to 2011

Muslims take to the streets of Paris in protest at new French law banning the wearing of niqabs and burqas in public.

Under the new law wef April 2011,any Muslim woman wearing a face veil is now banned from all public places in France, including when walking down the street, taking a train, going to hospital or collecting her children from school. Women in niqabs will be effectively under house arrest, allowed only inside a place of worship or a private car.
Women in face veils risk a €150 (£132) fine or citizenship lessons. Police cannot forcibly remove face coverings in the street but can order women to a police station to check their identity.

Burqa-clad women


The law is aimed at wearers of the burqa — a full-body covering with a mesh screen for the eyes) — and niqab — a veil that covers the face with just a slit for the eyes

Women caught wearing the garment can be fined 150 euros (203 dollars) or required to take citizenship classes

In most cases, however, the police let the woman off with a warning, if she uncovers her face for an identity check

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