Scuffle breaks out as first woman fined for flaunting Denmark’s ‘burqa ban’

Full-face veil ban took effect on Wednesday leading to protests in the Danish capital Copenhagen

Full-face veil ban took effect on Wednesday leading to protests in the Danish capital Copenhagen

Two days after Denmark's contentious burka law came into effect, a 28-year-old woman has become the first person in the country to be charged with breaching it.

A fight erupted and cops were called when another woman tried to tear off her niqab Friday in a shopping center in Horsholm, a city near Copenhagen, police duty officer David Borchersen told the Ritzau news agency.

Police took a photograph of the woman wearing the niqab, and obtained security camera footage from the shopping centre of the incident.

As of Wednesday, wearing a full-face veil, or a niqab, which shows the eyes, carries an 1,000 Kroner charge.

Following the Danish vote in May, Amnesty International's Gauri van Gulik said in a statement: "All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs".

Recently people of all ages also took to the streets in Copenhagen in protest of the controversial ban, wearing face veils including the niqab and full-length burqa.




Both women have been charged for fighting in public, but the Muslim woman was also fined for failing to obey the new law.

Along with the niqab and the burqa, the ban applies to balaclavas, masks, false beards and other accessories.

The woman was told she would receive a fine of 1,000 kroner (Dh570) in the post, and was told to either remove her veil or leave the public space.

The full-face veil is a highly charged issue across Europe.

Supporters of the law argue instead that the ban enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

It does not mention burkas and niqabs by name, but says "anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine".

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