Top Europe court upholds ban on full-face niqab veil in Belgium

Top Europe court upholds ban on full-face niqab veil in Belgium

PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday, July 11 upheld a Belgian ban on wearing the full-face niqab veil in public, AFP reports.

The court ruled that the restriction sought to guarantee social cohesion, the "protection of the rights and freedoms of others" and that it was "necessary in a democratic society", a statement said.

It said a bye-law adopted in June 2008 in the three municipalities of Pepinster, Dison and Verviers "could be regarded as proportionate to the aim pursued, namely the preservation of the conditions of 'living together' as an element of the 'protection of the rights and freedoms of others'."

The court said a country should also be given a "wide margin of appreciation in deciding whether and to what extent a limitation of the right to manifest one’s religion or beliefs was 'necessary'."

Belgian banned the wearing of the full-face veil under a June 2011 law. It prohibits appearing in public "with a face masked or hidden, in whole or in part, in such a way as to be unidentifiable".

Violations can result in fines and up to seven days in jail.

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