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European rights court upholds French burqa ban

Published on Jul 1, 2014 6:00 PM

STRASBOURG, France (AFP) - The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld France's controversial burqa ban, rejecting arguments that outlawing full-face veils breaches religious freedom.

In a case brought by a 24-year-old French woman with the support of a British legal team, the court ruled that France was justified in introducing the ban in the interests of social cohesion.

"The Court emphasised that respect for the conditions of 'living together' was a legitimate aim for the measure at issue," a statement from the court said.

The court also emphasised that states should be allowed a degree of discretion - "a wide margin of appreciation" - on a policy issue which is subject to significant differents of opinion.

A file photo taken on Aug 1, 2010, shows the European Court of Human Rights in the French eastern city of Strasbourg. -- PHOTO: AFP
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