European Rights Court upholds French full face veil ban

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld a ban imposed by France on the wearing of face-covering veils in public, rejecting arguments that the order violates religious freedoms and bolstering opponents of strict Islamic dress in other parts of Europe, BBC reported.

Last Updated: Jul 02, 2014, 00:37 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

London: The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld a ban imposed by France on the wearing of face-covering veils in public, rejecting arguments that the order violates religious freedoms and bolstering opponents of strict Islamic dress in other parts of Europe, BBC reported.

According to reports, an unknown 24-year-old French woman brought in a case, who argued that the ban on wearing the veil in public violated her freedom of religion and expression.
The woman who is a college graduate, had requested anonymity for fear of reprisals if her identity became known.

Giving its ruling on the said case, at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, judges said that the ban was a legitimate attempt to preserve the norms of France’s diverse society and that it did not infringe on Europe’s Convention on Human Rights.

Ban on face veils came into effect three years ago in France. The ban became contentious because it set the authorities on a collision course with Muslims who said the wearing of such veils by women was an obligation of their faith.
The ban, imposed by the former conservative government of Nicolas Sarkozy, was also depicted by its critics as exploiting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments in a country with a Muslim minority estimated at up to six million - Europe’s largest.