UK

Burkas Banned In Ticino, Switzerland, As Muslim Women Face Fines Of Up To £6,500

26/11/2015 02:06 GMT | Updated 26/11/2015 02:59 GMT

Women who wear a burka or niqab in a region of Switzerland will face a fine of up to £6,500.

Ticino's parliament approved the law on Monday, thereby banning women from wearing the garments, which cover their faces in public.

But other face coverings, such as masks, balaclavas and helmets, will still be allowed under law.

burqa

Women who wear the burka or niqab in Ticino will face a fine

The government wanted the ban to apply to non-religious face coverings also, but MPs voted that the law will only apply to the Muslim veils, reports The Local.

Nearly two-thirds of Ticino's voters supported the ban in a referendum in September 2013.

The local government approved the referendum after the country's Parliament said that the ban did not contravene Swiss federal law.

Tourists are not exempt from the ban and penalties ranges from £65 to £6,500.

It is not yet clear when the new rules will come into force.

Giorgio Ghiringhelli drew up the proposal. He said that the ruling would send a message to "Islamist fundamentalists".

"Those who want to integrate are welcome irrespective of their religion," he said. "But those who rebuff our values and aim to build a parallel society based on religious laws, and want to place it over our society, are not welcome," The Independent reports.

Amnesty International said it was a "black day for human rights in Ticino".

Many people were shocked at the decision, highlighting that it will not stop "extremists".

While others have welcomed the controversial move and suggested that the ban be implemented elsewhere.

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