Friday, April 30, 2010

France: Forcing woman into the veil or burqa could be punished by one year in prison and 15,000 euro fine

Salma, a 22-year-old French national living in Belgium who chooses to wear the niqab after converting to Islam, outside the Belgian Parliament in Brussels in this April 26, 2010


More than two in three French people favor a law banning the wearing of the veil in public, according to a poll released Monday on the site of Le Nouvel Observateur, conducted in full controversy over veiled women said to be driving and spouse suspected of polygamy.

The government plans to punish 150 euro fine wearing the full veil and one year imprisonment and 15,000 euros fine imposed in consequence of a woman, according to one version of the text revealed by Le Figaro published Friday.

The paper published two articles of the project led by Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, to be forwarded to the State Council for review prior to consideration by the Cabinet on May 19

According to Le Figaro, Article 1 states that "no one in public wear clothing designed to hide his face" on pain of incurring a fine of 150 euros or "as punishment alternative or complementary a probationary citizenship" [possibly may be denied citizenship].

Section 2 creates a new crime of "instigation to hide his face because of her sex." Imposing such a place by "violence, threats, abuse of power or authority shall be punished by one year in prison and 15,000 euros fine. This new crime is part of Chapter 5 of the Penal Code relating to violations of dignity.

According to one of the drafters of the text, quoted anonymously by Le Figaro, it was decided "light punishment" for wearing the full veil "because women are often victims.

The government said it wanted before the implementation of the text [law] which will be discussed in July at the Assembly, a "phase" of teaching, to try to ensure that the women "dispense 'themselves to wear the full veil.

France Soir

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