First woman fined in Denmark for wearing veil

STOCKHOLM • A 28-year-old woman wearing a niqab has become the first person in Denmark to be fined for violating a controversial new law banning full-face Islamic veils in public, media reported.

Police were called on Friday to a shopping centre in Horsholm, in the north-eastern region of Nordsjaelland, where the woman had become involved in a scuffle with another woman who had tried to tear her niqab off, police duty officer David Borchersen told the Ritzau news agency.

"During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again," Mr Borchersen said.

The woman was informed she would receive a fine of 1,000 kroner (S$212) in the post, and was told to either remove her veil or leave the public space.

"She chose the latter," Mr Borchersen said.

Since Wednesday, wearing a burqa, which covers a person's entire face, or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in public has carried a fine of 1,000 kroner.

Repeated violations carry fines of up to 10,000 kroner.

 
 

The ban also targets other accessories that hide the face such as balaclavas, masks and false beards.

Human rights campaigners have slammed the ban as a violation of women's rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants.

The full-face veil is a hot-button issue across Europe. Belgium, France, Germany and Austria have already imposed bans or partial bans.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 05, 2018, with the headline 'First woman fined in Denmark for wearing veil'. Print Edition | Subscribe