Muslim women wearing a burqa will be fined £6,500 in Switzerland
Wearing a burka or niqab in public has been banned in the Swiss region of Ticino, with offenders facing a fine of up to £6,500.
The region’s parliament approved the law on Monday, thereby banning full-face veils worn by women in many Muslim countries, in the wake of heightened terrorist alerts across Europe.
It is now a criminal offence for women in the Italian-speaking canton in southern Switzerland to cover their faces with the garments in all public places, including shops, restaurants, public buildings and behind the wheel of a car, the Local reports.
No exceptions will be made for tourists, but other forms of face coverings such as masks, balaclavas or crash helmets will still be permitted.
Almost two-thirds of the region’s voters supported the ban in a referendum in September 2013 before it was approved by Parliament.
The vote was launched under Switzerland’s direct democracy, which allows proposals to be put to the public if enough signatures are collected.
Giorgio Ghiringhelli, who drew up the proposal, said the result would send a message to “Islamist fundamentalists”, who he claimed were in Ticino and across Switzerland.
“Those who want to
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