Danish lawmakers approve burqa ban

Women in niqab are pictured at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, after the Danish Parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public, 31 May 2018

The Danish Parliament on Thursday passed a law banning women from wearing traditional clothing that hides the face, such as a niqab or burqa. The legislation does not specifically single out Muslims, but says that “anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine.” The penalty is 1,000 kroner ($157) but it rises 10 times higher for repeat offenders. The law takes effect Aug. 1. Denmark’s justice minister, Soren Pape Poulsen, said people “must be able to see each other’s facial expressions, it’s a value in Denmark.” Amnesty International calls the policy a “discriminatory violation of women’s rights.” The European Court of Human Rights upheld a Belgian ban on full-face veils last year. France adopted Europe’s first burqa ban in 2011.

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