First person charged with breaching new burka law in Denmark

Aaron Brown
August 7, 2018

The two women were both charged with breaching the peace.

The woman was fined 1,000 Danish kroner (NZ$230) and was asked to either remove the veil or leave the premises. "She chose the latter".

The ban, which took effect on August 1, prohibits full-face Islamic veils in public places.

Clicked by Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly, the photo features a Danish policewoman embracing a visibly emotional woman protesting against the ban.

The episode took place in the center of Hørsholm center where the woman with niqab came up to top with another woman by an escalator in the center.

But when we get up and stop the tumult, one woman is wearing niqab and the other is not, "says David Borchersen". They took a photograph of the woman and obtained security camera footage of the incident.

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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.

Critics see the law - approved by parliament in May - as encouraging anti-immigrant sentiments, pointing to the very small number of Muslim women in Denmark who actually wear full-face veils.

First-time offenders risk a fine of 1,000 kroner while repeat offences could trigger fines of up to 10,000 kroner (£1,200) or a jail sentence of up to six months.

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 objective.

Supporters of the law, meanwhile, claim the law will better integrate Muslims into Danish society.

"Denmark's ban is part of a worrisome trend that only marginalizes Muslim women in Europe and penalizes them for expressing their beliefs", Women's Rights Division researcher Hillary Margolis wrote.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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