July 1, 2014 - 15:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a ban by France on wearing the Muslim full-face veil - the niqab, according to BBC News.
A case was brought by a 24-year-old French woman, who argued that the ban on wearing the veil in public violated her freedom of religion and expression.
French law says nobody can wear in a public space clothing intended to conceal the face. The penalty for doing so can be a 150-euro fine ($205).
The 2010 law came in under former conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The court ruled that the ban "was not expressly based on the religious connotation of the clothing in question but solely on the fact that it concealed the face".
A court statement said the ruling also "took into account the state's submission that the face played a significant role in social interaction.
"The Court was also able to understand the view that individuals might not wish to see, in places open to all, practices or attitudes which would fundamentally call into question the possibility of open interpersonal relationships, which, by virtue of an established consensus, formed an indispensable element of community life within the society in question."