Thursday, September 22, 2011

French women fined for breaching veil ban

Paris court issues its first ruling on controversial new law passed in April after parliamentary approval.

France's parliament approved a law that has banned full-face veils from the streets of France since April [File: EPA]

Two French women who continue to wear the full-face veil in defiance of a new law banning it in France have been fined.

Thursday's court ruling on the controversial new ban follows a law approved by parliament in April.

They were both fined a total of 200 euros ($271) by a French court, in what many believe is a test case.

Al Jazeera's Emma Hayward, reporting from Paris, said the court's decision to fine these women "was no great surprise really because we knew this was always going to be a test case here in France."
Campaigners have threatened to take their case to the European court of human rights.
Despite a nationwide ban, a Frenchwoman who wears a full-face veil, wants to run for president in next year's elections.

In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Kenza Drider said she wants to defend the rights of all French women.

She is among a group of women mounting an attack on the law that has banned full-face veils from the streets of France since April.

They want to prove the measure contravenes fundamental rights.

Supporters of the law, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, say the veils imprison women.

Drider said she plans to declare her candidacy on Thursday in Meaux, a city east of Paris run by senior conservative politician and Sarkozy ally Jean-Francois Cope, who championed the veil ban.