Denmark fines first woman for breaching ban on face veils

A wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen

A woman in North Zealand is the first to be charged with breach of the mask ban that came into force on Wednesday, reports Danish news paper Politiken.

In accordance with the law, the 28-year-old was asked by police to either remove her veil or leave the public space.

Police say they were called and when they reviewed CCTV, informed the woman she would be charged if she refused to take her niqab off.

Since 1 August, Denmark's much-debated burka ban has provoked protests and criticism from human rights groups.

"During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again", Borchersen said. Under the new law, police will be allowed to order people to remove face veils in public areas.

Police took a photograph of the woman wearing the niqab, and obtained security camera footage of the incident from the shopping centre.


"Whilst some specific restrictions on the wearing of full face veils for the purposes of public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate and violates women's rights to freedom of expression and religion", said Fotis Filippou, Amnesty's deputy Europe director.

The new burka law means that all forms of clothing that cover the face are now banned in public spaces, unless they serve a creditable goal.

Repeated violations are fined up to 10,000 kroner.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Copenhagen wearing burqas and other face veils as the law went into effect Wednesday.

Similar full or partial bans against wearing a veil are also in place in France, Austria, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria.

Some Muslim women have said that they will refuse to comply with the ban and intend to continue to wear a niqab.

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