Belgium passes ban on full face veil
Friday, April 30, 2010
Lawmakers in Belgium voted almost unanimously to ban public wearing of full face veils on Friday.
The proposal received 134 votes in the lower house ofwith two abstentions and nobody opposing. Under the new rule, any clothing that fully obscures the face will be prohibited in public areas such as parks and streets; anyone who ignores it will be fined $20 to $35 and/or a jail sentence of up to a week. Exceptions could be made during certain festivals, or if the wearer has police permission to use the veil.
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The proposal will now go to the, where it is expected not to be blocked; some reports suggest it could become full law in June or July.
"It's not about introducing any form of discrimination," commented Daniel Bacquelaine, head of the liberalin the parliament. He said that veils were "aimed at stopping people from being identified".
Before the lower house voted, the vice-president of the, Isabelle Praile, opposed the proposal, saying: "Today it's the full-face veil, tomorrow the veil, the day after it will be turbans and then perhaps it will be mini skirts. The wearing of a full-face veil is part of the individual freedoms."
- "Belgian lawmakers pass burka ban" — , April 28, 2010
- "Belgian politicians pass veil ban" — , April 28, 2010