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Denmark's Parliament voted to ban wearing face veils

Denmark has banned the wearing of face veils in public. Parliament voted on Thursday for the ban based on argumentation that wearing face veils is contrary to Danish values.

In a 75-30 vote with 74 absentees on Thursday, Danish lawmakers approved the law presented by the centre-right governing coalition. The interdiction will take effect on August 1. Under the law, police can instruct women to remove their veils or order them to leave public areas. They also can fine them. Fines would range from 1,000 Danish crowns ($160) for a first offence to 10,000 crowns for a fourth violation. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have imposed similar restrictions.

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The anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party became the second-largest party in an election that year and now supports the coalition government in parliament. Human rights group Amnesty International called the ban “a discriminatory violation of women’s rights ... All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs,” they say. Few Muslim women in Denmark wear full-face veils. The legislation in the country allows people to cover their face when there is a “recognisable purpose” such as cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, for example using motorcycle helmets under Danish traffic rules.

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