Denmark fines first woman for breaching ban on face veils

Police were called on Friday to a shopping centre in Horsholm, in the north-eastern region of Nordsjaelland, where the woman had become involved in a scuffle with another woman who had tried to tear her niqab off, police duty officer David Borchersen told the Ritzau news agency.

"Whilst some specific restrictions on the wearing of full face veils for the purposes of public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate and violates women's rights to freedom of expression and religion", said Fotis Filippou, Amnesty's deputy Europe director.

28-year-old woman was fined 1,000 kronor ($155 or 134 euros) and also asked to remove a hat or leave the Mall. But the law - popularly known as the "burqa ban" - is seen by some as directed at Muslim women who choose to wear the face veil in public.

Mr Borcher said: 'We don't start taking the niqab or burka ban off people.

Under the law, authorities can order women to remove their veils or leave public areas.

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The controversial ban was met with resistance when it came into effect on Wednesday this week.

Police are going through surveillance video to determine if the other woman deliberately ripped off the niqab.

Human rights campaigners have slammed the ban as a violation of women's rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

Denmark is the latest European country to ban such items of clothing, joining several other nations including France, Belgium and Germany. They face fines of 1,000 Danish krone (£120) for a first offence, to 10,000 krone for a...

On Wednesday, Danish police allowed protesters of the ban to cover their faces to let them "express themselves freely", which has raised questions of hypocrisy.

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