Be wary of Danish niqab ban, UAE embassy warns

Repeat offenders of Denmark's new ban against face coverings can be fined over $1,500
Be wary of Danish niqab ban, UAE embassy warns
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 06 Jun 2018 10:57 AM

The UAE’s embassy in Denmark is warning Emiratis of hefty fines for violating the Scandinavian country’s recently passed ban on niqabs and burqas.

Last week, Danish lawmakers approved the law, which was presented by the centre-right government and is backed by the country’s Social Democrats and the far-right Danish People’s Party.

In a tweet, the UAE’s embassy in the country reminded Emirati nationals that the law includes the niqabs and burqas, as well as any type of face coverings including hats, masks or false beards.

The law – which comes into effect on August 1 – will fine violators 1,000 Kroner ($156) for the first three violations. Those who violate the regulation a fourth time will be fined 10,000 Kroner ($1,577).

In 2016, the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Emiratis of wearing burqas and niqabs in parts of Europe were bans are enforced.

Additionally, Emirati men were warned to not wear national dress while abroad, following an incident in which an Emirati businessmen was detained at gunpoint in Ohio after a false accusation from a hotel staff member that he was heard pledging allegiance to ISIL.

While Danish officials have said the new law is not directed at any particular religion and does not ban headscarves that do not cover wearer’s faces, Amnesty International has condemned it as being a “discriminatory violation of women’s rights”, particularly those of Muslim women.

“Whilst some specific restrictions on the wearing of full-ace 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,” Amnesty’s European director, Gauri van Gulik, said in a statement.

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