Denmark imposes first fine under new law banning wearing of face veils

Woman (28) in shopping centre fined €120 and told to remove niqab or leave

A wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen. Photograph: Reuters

A wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen. Photograph: Reuters

 

A 28-year-old woman wearing a face veil has become the first person in Denmark to be fined for violating a new law banning such garments in public places.

Danish news agency Ritzau reported that police were called to a shopping centre in Horsholm on Friday to confront a woman wearing a niqab garment covering her face.

The woman was fined 1,000 Danish kroner (€120) and told to either remove the veil or leave the centre. She opted to leave.

Since August 1, Denmark’s much-debated “Burqa Ban” has provoked protests and criticism from human rights groups.

It does not mention burkas and niqabs by name, but warns that anyone who wears a garment that hides their face in public will be fined.

The law allows people to cover their face when there is a “recognisable purpose” like cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, such as using motorcycle helmets under Danish traffic rules.

First-time offenders risk a fine of 1,000 kroner while repeat offences could trigger fines of up to 10,000 kroner (#1,200) or a jail sentence of up to six months.