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Denmark veil ban: First woman charged for wearing niqab

Denmark veil ban: First woman charged for wearing niqab

Denmark brought in a burqa ban on August 1, forbidding anything covering a person's entire face and the niqab, which only shows the eyes.

A 28-year-old woman has received the first criminal punishment under Denmark's new ban on burqas and other garments worn in public that cover the face.

The woman was fined $156 for wearing a full face veil in public and asked to either take the garment off or leave the shopping centre.

Police officer David Borchersenexplained: "During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again".

The new burka law means that all forms of clothing that cover the face are now banned in public spaces, unless they serve a creditable objective.

The woman in the veil encountered another female who tried to tear it off, resulting in a minor scuffle. But the law - popularly known as the "burqa ban" - is seen by some as directed at Muslim women who choose to wear the face veil in public.

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Police were called, and after reviewing CCTV tapes, told the woman she would be charged if she refused to remove the veil.

Danish protesters dressed in burkas, masks and false beards to defy a new law outlawing the wearing of veils in public.

She was given a 1,000 kroner fine ($155; £120) after refusing to take it off at their request.

Supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

A number of Muslim women have said they will not adhere to the law, despite the 10,000 (£1,200) kroner penalty for repeat offenders.

Similar full or partial bans against wearing a veil are also in place in France, Austria, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria.