A Muslim woman has been fined in Italy for wearing a face-covering veil in public, officials in the northern city of Novara said.
The $650 fine, thought to be the first in Italy, comes under a rule that bans people from wearing clothes that obscure their identity. (photo from abc.net.au)
“City hall adopted a decree in late January banning the burqa in public places and their vicinity,” Mauro Franzinelli of the Novara police told the AFP news agency.
The decree comes under an Italian law in place since 1975. The law bans people from covering their face in public, whether it be with a veil or motorcycle helmet.
The Tunisian-born woman is believed to have been wearing the niqab, a veil that covers all of the face apart from the eyes.
She received the fine on Monday, after being stopped outside a post office, while she was with her husband.
The husband refused to have his wife identified by male officers, therefore the police called in a patrol including a female officer.
Franzinelli said the woman had the right to appeal the fine.
Novara is located in Italy’s northeastern Piedmont region, which is a stronghold of the Northern League, an anti-immigration party that is also allied with the country’s conservative government.
A week before that woman was fined in Italy, a Belgian parliamentary committee voted to ban face-covering Islamic veils in public.
France is also wondering whether to adopt a similar law.