Swiss canton imposes fine of up to $9,800 for wearing burqas

The parliament of the Swiss canton of Ticino, the southernmost Italian-speaking region of Swiss Federation, has passed a law banning the wearing of the burqa, covering the face and entire body.  The Local reports (hat tip: Daily Caller):

Citizens in the Italian-speaking canton in the south of Switzerland supported the ban in a referendum in September 2013, with around two in three voters backing the move.

Security measures were reinforced for the parliamentary session dealing with the burqa. the ATS news agency reported.

A metal detection device was temporarily installed to screen people coming into the parliament, the agency said.

The Ticino government had wanted the ban on burqas and niqabs (face veil) to also apply to other forms of head covering that hide the face, such as masks, worn by demonstrators and balaclavas.

But MPs voted for a law that applies only to the wearing of Muslim veils to avoid putting that on the same level as hooligans and masked demonstrators.

Fines range from 100 Swiss Francs ($98) to a maximum of 10,000.

France has a similar ban, and it has been upheld by the European Court of Human Rights.

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