Denmark issues first fine for wearing niqab

Lamar Ellis
August 5, 2018

A 28-year-old woman became the first person in Denmark fined for wearing a face veil under a controversial new law banning the garment in public, Danish media reported.

The police took a photo of the woman in the niqab, as well as securing other video evidence from surveillance cameras in the shopping centre.

She was given a 1,000 kroner fine ($155; £120) after refusing to take it off at their request.

Police spokesperson David Borchersen said a fight broke out after the Muslim woman walked into the other woman, who tried to rip her face veil off, at the top of some escalators.

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

The full-face veil is a hot-button issue across Europe.

Police arrived on the scene and reviewed CCTV footage of what happened, before telling the woman that she would be fined 1,000 kroner (£119.37) in the post.

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Some Muslim women have said they will not adhere to the law - which carries a 10,000 ($1,500; £1,200) kroner penalty for repeat offenders.

The "Burqa Ban", which was passed in late May, was immediately criticized by global human rights organizations that called it a blatant attack on Islamic citizens of Denmark.

Along with the niqab and the burqa, the ban applies to balaclavas, masks, false beards and other accessories.

It does not mention burkas and niqabs by name, but warns that anyone who wears a garment that hides their face in public will be fined.

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

Belgium, France, Germany and Austria have also imposed bans or partial bans.

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