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    In this June 28, 2014 file photo veiled women attend a speech by preacher Pierre Vogel, in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, Germany. A law that forbids any kind of full-face covering, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa, has come into force in Austria Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Only a small number of Muslim women in Austria wear full-face veils, but they have become a target for right-wing groups and political parties. France and Belgium have similar laws and the nationalist Alternative for Germany party is calling for a burqa ban there too

    UN Human Rights Committee Orders France to Review Ban on Full-Body Islamic Veil

    © AP Photo / Boris Roessler
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    Adopted in 2010, French law prohibits the wearing of face-covering headgear, which includes the burqa, in public areas.

    The UN Human Rights Committee has given France a 180 day deadline on Tuesday to review its ban on the full-body Islamic chador stressing that the ban is seen as a human rights violation, the authority said in a statement.

    READ MORE: People Voting Against Burqa Don't Want Non-European Immigration — Politician

    "In particular, the Committee was not persuaded by France's claim that a ban on face covering was necessary and proportionate from a security standpoint or for attaining the goal of "living together" in society," the statement read.

    In addition, the UN Human Rights Committee stated that the French authorities violated two women's right to freedom of religion when fined them in 2012 for wearing the niqab, a full-face Islamic veil. 

    "In two landmark decisions, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found that France violated the human rights of two women by fining them for wearing the niqab," the statement read.

    According to the statement, the French authorities have not provided adequate explanations to the UN Committee why it was necessary to prohibit this clothing from a security standpoint.

    "The decisions are not directed against the notion of secularity (laïcité), nor are they an endorsement of a custom which many on the Committee, including myself, regard as a form of oppression of women," Yuval Shany, Chair of the Committee, said, as quoted in the statement.

    © Photo : Pixabay
    Earlier, the Committee received the two complaints in 2016 regarding the 2012 episode when the women were fined for wearing garments covering the face in public. This was the first such case considered by the Committee, the UN press release added.

    France introduced the ban on wearing face-covering headgear, including niqab and burqa, in public places in 2010, citing security concerns, however, the UN human rights experts find the law discriminatory and harmful to religious freedom.

    Apart from France, such European states as Austria, Belgium, and Denmark also have previously introduced legislation banning such Islamic attire.


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    burqa, islamophobia, UN Human Rights Committee, European Court of Human Rights, France
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