Women defiant as Danish ban on full-face veil takes effect


The new Danish ban on covering the face in public places includes the niqab and burka as well as false beards, masks and other ways of obscuring the face in public. Repeated violations will be fined up to 10,000 kroner.

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

A 30-year-old Muslim woman interviewed in daily Berlingske, identified only as Sarah, said on Wednesday that she had "lost faith in the system". "If I must take it off I want to do it because it is a reflection of my own choice", she said.

Women in Dialogue, which was created in response to the ban's initial proposal past year, did a lot of its work on the streets or at universities, with veiled women handing out fliers and giving speeches to promote dialogue and educate people about the niqab.

"I'm for the right of the people to wear whatever they want whether they be a Muslim or a punk".

"I feel this law legitimises acts of hatred but, on the other hand, I feel people have become more aware of what is going on".

"We're against the ban because we live in Denmark and we believe that everybody should have the free choice and decide themselves what they want to wear".

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A lo largo del año, el periodista Marcelo Figueras , amigo y biógrafo del Indio , fue dando pistas. En el arte de tapa, siempre en blanco y negro, una foto de los padres de Carlos Alberto Solari .

Popularly known as the "Burqa Ban", it is mostly seen as being directed at the niqab and burqa. "But I don't think wearing a niqab means you can't engage yourself in Danish values", Meryem said. "But if you do, you should be punished with a fine", Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen was quoted as saying by Ritzau in February when the government presented its proposal for the ban.

Amnesty International on Wednesday condemned the law as a "discriminatory violation of women's rights", especially against Muslim women who choose to wear the full-face veils.

"If the intention of this law was to protect women's rights it fails abjectly".

"Whilst some specific restrictions on the wearing of full face veils for the purposes of public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate and violates women's rights to freedom of expression and religion", he added.

Last year, the European Court of Human Rights upheld a Belgian ban on wearing the full-face veil in public.

The Danish ban follows similar recent bans on full face veils in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria and parts of Switzerland.