Thursday 16 July 2020

Senators vote through ban on burqa in government buildings, hospitals

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch senators on Tuesday voted in favour of bringing in a ban on wearing a burqa or other face-covering clothing on public transport, in government buildings and in schools and hospitals.

The vote in favour comes 13 years after a burqa ban was first mooted. The ban includes a €400 fine for people who cover their faces in government buildings.

Senators expressed concern that the new law is purely symbolic and will have a severe impact on the few hundred women who wear a burqa or nikab in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, a clear majority voted in favour of the ban.

Home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren will now discuss with the police and other officials when the bill should come into effect.

Ollongren’s party D66 was the only one of the four government coalition parties to vote against the ban. The SP, PvdA and GroenLinks also voted against.

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