Denmark issues first face veil fine after tussle

Police were called to a shopping mall there following an altercation Friday between the woman wearing the veil and another woman, during which the former's face covering came off, a police spokesman said.

Critics see the law - approved by parliament in May - as encouraging anti-immigrant sentiments, pointing to the very small number of Muslim women in Denmark who actually wear full-face veils.

Both women received fines for public disorder, he said.

She was given a 1,000 kroner fine (£120) after refusing to remove it on the request of the police. Police said they would not enforce the ban during the protest because people had the right to demonstrate. She chose the latter'.

When the ban went into effect, dozens of women came out in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, to protest it.

Under the law, authorities can order women to remove their veils or leave public areas. The women pushed to each other and uprorious scenes arise in which the Niqab, among other things, is being torn by one woman.

People are allowed to cover their face when there is a "recognisable purpose" such as protection from cold weather, or cycling helmets.

Anyone forcing a person to wear garments covering the face by using force or threats can be fined or face up to two years in prison.

As you know, repeated violation of law may result in additional fines of up to CZK 10 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

Denmark's ban on niqabs and other full-face coverings in public spaces went into effect on August 1, drawing condemnation from many who say the law is a form of religious discrimination.

Civil liberties campaigners and Muslim women's advocacy groups have argued that the ban is discriminatory.

  • Rogelio Becker