Ticino: Wearing a burka in public has been banned in the Swiss region of Ticino, with offenders facing a fine of up to £6,500 or Rs 78,000 in an Indian Currency.
The region’s parliament approved the law on Monday, which will ban full-face veils, worn by women in many Muslim countries, in the wake of heightened terrorist alerts across Europe, sources reported.
It is now a criminal offence for women in the Italian-speaking canton in southern Switzerland to cover their faces with the garments in all public places, including shops, restaurants, and public buildings and behind the wheel of a car.
No exceptions will be made for tourists, but other forms of face coverings such as masks, balaclavas or crash helmets will still be permitted. Almost two-thirds of the region’s voters supported the ban in a referendum in September 2013 before it was approved by Parliament, reported.
The vote was launched under Switzerland’s direct democracy, which allows proposals to be put to the public if enough signatures are collected. Giorgio Ghiringhelli, who drew up the proposal, said the result would send a message to “Islamist fundamentalists”, who he claimed were in Ticino and across Switzerland.
“Those who want to integrate are welcome irrespective of their religion,” he said in a statement. “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,” he added.
Amnesty International said the vote was a “black day for human rights in Ticino.”