x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Burqa ban set to go into effect on Saturday in Belgium

The ban was approved on security grounds, but a lawyer is planning to take her opposition to the country's constitutional court.

BRUSSELS // A Belgian law banning the wearing of burqa-style Islamic dress in public goes into effect Saturday, but a lawyer hopes to get the law suspended next week pending a hearing.

Belgian lawmakers approved the ban on grounds of security. But Ines Wouters, a lawyer representing two women who sometimes wear the burqa, said Friday she had taken the case to the country's constitutional court, and would request a suspension.

Wouters said the law conflicted with freedom of religion, the right to privacy, freedom of expression and equality between men and women.

She said police officers can ask people for their identification. But, she said, "Security in Europe does not mean you can be identified and controlled by anybody at any time."