'Burqa ban' comes into force in Austria

Muslim women in Austria were forced by the police to remove their facial coverings on Sunday, as an anti-burqa law came into effect.

'Burqa ban' comes into force in Austria

Vienna: Muslim women in Austria were forced by the police to remove their facial coverings on Sunday, as an anti-burqa law came into effect.

The 'burqa ban' prohibits facial coverings including niqabs and burqas, and also places restrictions on surgical masks, ski masks and clown make-up worn in public.

Yesterday, a woman wearing a niqab facial veil, which only leaves the eyes uncovered, was seen being told to remove her veil by two police officers in Zell am See, a city south of Saltzburg.

Those who defy the ban could face a fine of €150 (£132).

While the rule applies to some non-religious facial coverings, it is generically perceived to be directed at the extremely modest clothes worn by a minority of Muslim women.

The measures, similar to those in other European Union countries such as France, also apply to visitors.