Following today’s vote by Denmark’s parliament to ban the wearing of face coverings in public, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Gauri van Gulik said:
“All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs. This ban will have a particularly negative impact on Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab or burqa.
“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 the rights to freedom of expression and religion.
“If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights it fails abjectly. Instead, the law criminalizes women for their choice of clothing and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.”
The Danish ban follows similar recent bans on full face veils in Belgium, France, Bulgaria and parts of Switzerland.