Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

First woman fined in Denmark for wearing full-face veil - Ireland

First woman fined in Denmark for wearing full-face veil - Ireland

The woman was fined $156 for wearing a full face veil in public and asked to either take the garment off or leave the shopping centre.

Those who oppose the so-called Burqa Ban say the law oppresses the rights of women to dress as they want, . and targets a religious minority.

The controversial ban was met with resistance when it came into effect on Wednesday this week.

Law enforcement officers arrived on call at a shopping centre North of Copenhagen, where there was a fight between two women.

Several women wearing niqabs - which fully cover the body but leave the eye area open - told CNN the ban would make it hard for them to leave their homes, whether to take their children to school, shop for groceries or just move around their communities.

Those caught wearing such coverings face a fine of 1,000 kroner, while repeat offenders can face fines of 10,000 kroner.

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Police said both women were charged with violating the peace and said one had also been charged with violating the full-face veil law.

A year ago the European Court of Human Rights upheld a similar Belgian ban, saying that communal harmony trumped an individual's right to religious expression.

Denmark brought in a burqa ban on August 1, forbidding anything covering a person's entire face and the niqab, which only shows the eyes.

Muslim and non-Muslim women protested in full niqab and balaclavas against the new law, which has drawn criticism for a number of human rights groups.

Supporters of the law argue instead that the ban enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

In fact, the day the ban came into effect, around 1,300 Muslims and non-Muslims women marched through the capital Copenhagen to protest at what they saw as an infringement on freedom of religion and expression.

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