Switzerland specific region to fine women over full Burqa

GENEVA: Wearing a burqa in public could fetch a fine of 6,500 pounds in the Swiss region of Ticino. The region’s parliament on October 24 approved the law, which will ban full-face veils, worn by women in many Muslim countries, in the wake of heightened terrorist alerts across Europe, Swiss news site The Local reports. It is now a criminal offence for women in the Italian-speaking canton in southern Switzerland to cover their faces with the garments in all public places, including shops, restaurants, public buildings and behind the wheel of a car. No exceptions will be made for tourists, but other forms of face coverings such as masks, balaclavas or crash helmets will still be permitted. Almost two-thirds of the region’s voters supported the ban in a referendum in September 2013 before it was approved by Parliament. Giorgio Ghiringhelli, who drew up the proposal, said the result would send a message to “Islamist fundamentalists,” who he claimed were in Ticino and across Switzerland. “Those who want to integrate are welcome irrespective of their religion,” he said in a statement on the website ilgustafeste.ch, according to Reuters. The law was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights in July 2014. Similar laws have since been passed in Belgium and the Netherlands. Reference: Reuters