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Denmark Bans 'Burqa'

Denmark’s ban against the use of full-face
veils in public spaces, called a “burqa ban,’’
went into effect on Wednesday.
The Danish parliament approved the ban in
May.
It includes full-face veils like the niqab,
balaclavas, face-covering ski masks, face
masks and fake beards, but not protective
masks.
A first-time offender could risk a fine of
1,000 kroner (156 dollars). Repeat offences
would result in a higher fine.
A fourth offence and any further violations
would be met with a fine of 10,000 kroner.
Protests against the ban were planned later
on Wednesday in the capital Copenhagen
and the city of Aarhus.
Police said protesters who planned to fully
cover their faces at the demonstrations
would not risk a fine.
“The demonstrations were considered part
of freedom of expression and freedom of
assembly,’’ Benny Ochkenholt of the Danish
national police told public broadcaster DR.
Fines could, however, be issued if
participants were masked on their way to
or from the demonstrations, he added.
Exemptions to the ban include winter
clothing, such as scarves, and costumes and
masks worn for carnival or Halloween.
Danish police federation president Claus
Oxfeldt said the guidelines were not
sufficiently detailed.
The police federation and national police
were to meet in September to assess the
first month of the ban, he told news agency
Ritzau.
Some countries in Europe, including Austria,
Belgium and France, have previously
introduced restrictions on wearing full-face
veils in public spaces.
A 2010 report estimated that up to 200
women in Denmark, a country of 5.7 million,
used full-face veils.

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