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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Denmark issues first fine for wearing niqab

Controversial law against full-face coverings took effect on August 1

A police officer speaks to a demonstrator during a protest in Copenhagen August 1, 2018, against Denmark's ban on face coverings. Reuters
A police officer speaks to a demonstrator during a protest in Copenhagen August 1, 2018, against Denmark's ban on face coverings. Reuters

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 places.

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.

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

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.

"She chose the latter," Mr Borchersen said.

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Read more:

Denmark burqa ban: Muslims defiant as ban on full-face veil takes effect

Editorial: Danish veil ban is thinly disguised racism

In pictures: Protests in Denmark as ban on full-face veil takes effect

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As of August 1, wearing a burqa, which covers a person's entire face, or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in public carries a fine of 1,000 kroner.

Repeated violations are fined 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 said the ban is a violation of women's rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

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

Belgium, France, Germany and Austria have already imposed bans or partial bans.