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Danish parliament condemned for banning the burqa in public places

DENMARK has been condemned for its decision to ban the burqa from public places after its parliament voted in favour of a Bill tabled by the country’s right-wing ruling coalition today.

Although the government claimed the law is not aimed at particular religions, it does not include headscarves, turbans or the Jewish skull cap, and is widely seen as targeting Muslims.

The bill was approved by a margin of 75-30 with 74 lawmakers absent from the chamber.

However, Amnesty International spokeswoman Gauri van Gulik said all women should be free to choose how they dress and warned the ban would have a negative effect on Muslim women.

“While some specific restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils for the purposes of public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate, and violates the rights to freedom of expression and religion.

“If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights, it fails abjectly. Instead, the law criminalises women for their choice of clothing and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark purports to uphold,” she said.

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