France’s burqa ban upheld by human rights court

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The European Court of Human Rights upheld Tuesday the French ban on burqas and niqabs, rejecting claims by Muslims who say the law violates their religious rights.

A 24-year-old unnamed French woman brought the case to Europe’s top rights court in Strasbourg, arguing that the law was “inhumane and degrading, against the right of respect for family and private life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of speech and discriminatory,” The Guardian reported.

The ban, which went into effect in April 2011, prohibits citizens from wearing full-face veils in public. Critics of the ban say it unfairly targets Muslim women, while supporters argue that the religious coverings themselves are demeaning to women.

The court said Tuesday that it found that the French law doesn’t breach the European Convention on Human Rights.

The French law imposes a fine of about $205 for wearing the items. The person breaking the law can be asked to carry out public service duty as part of the punishment or as an alternative to the fine, CNN reported.

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