PARIS – France’s controversial ban on wearing Islamic veils such as burqas and niqabs came into effect on Monday. A silent protest march against the burqa ban was planned for Monday morning in Paris.
Two Muslim women wearing full face veils have been arrested within hours of France’s burka ban becoming a law, as they were taking part in a demonstration against the new measure in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris, The Telegraph informs. Technically, the women should now face fines of 150 euros (£133), as well as citizenship lessons, but officers involved in the arrest said they were likely to be released “shortly’ after being questioned about an “illegal gathering.”
“They should not be here demonstrating against anything, least of all the face veil ban,” said one officer, who was wearing full riot gear as he stood outside Notre Dame. “Women officers will be dealing with the offenders, and the matter will be dealt with as sensitively as possible.”
Alexis Marsan, a public order official who also attended the scene, confirmed that the rally in front of the cathedral was unauthorised, and that others taking part had also been arrested.