Ban On Full-Face Veil In Denmark Draws Ire Of Rights Activists

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STOCKHOLM — Denmark’s contro­versial ban on the Islamic full-face veil in public spaces came into force on Wednesday as women pro­tested the new measure which fines anyone wearing the garment.

Human rights campaign­ers have slammed the ban as a violation of women’s rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

Protests against the ban were planned in the capital Copenhagen and the second-biggest city Aarhus late on Wednesday, with several hun­dred people expected to attend, some of them wearing the full-face veil.

A spokesman for the Copenhagen police said they did not plan to fine the protesters who violated the ban.

Wearing a burqa, which covers a person’s entire face, or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in pub­lic will lead to a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156, 134 euros).

The ban also targets other accessories that hide the face such as balaclavas and false beards. Repeated violations will be fined up to 10,000 kroner.

A 30-year-old Muslim woman interviewed in daily Berlingske, identified only as Sarah, said she had “lost faith in the system”.

Born and raised in Denmark by parents who emigrated from Tur­key, she has worn the niqab since she was 18.

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