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First fine handed out for violating Denmark’s Burqa ban

Monday, 6 August, 2018 - 11:55

The Danish press reports that the first fine for wearing the full veil, banned in Denmark since August 1, was imposed on a 28-year-old woman on Friday.

According to the Ritzau news agency, the police were called to a shopping centre in the north-eastern town of Horsholm, where the woman had been fighting with another woman who had tried to remove her niqab – full veil covering the face except the eyes. “In their struggle, her niqab was removed, but when we arrived, she handed it over,” said the police chief.

The police then took a picture of the woman wearing the niqab, and obtained the images of the security cameras in the centre showing the incident. The woman was informed that she would receive a fine of 1,000 kroner (134 euros) in the mail, and that she should either remove her veil or leave the public space. “She chose the second option,” said Borchersen.

Since 1 August, the public wearing of the burqa, niqab or other accessories masking the face is punished in Denmark with a fine of up to 10,000 crowns (1,340 euros).

Human rights defenders have protested against this measure, while it’s supporters argue that it aims to facilitate the integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

In Europe, Belgium, France, Germany and Austria have already enacted similar restrictions.

France was the first country in Europe to ban the full veil in the public space, with a law “prohibiting the concealment of the face” enacted in October 2010 and applied since April 2011. Validated by the European Court of Human Rights in 2014, it provides, for fines of up to 150 euros.

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