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Police fine woman 500 euros for wearing burqa in the street

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-04

Italian municipal police fined a woman 500 euros ($650) for wearing a full Islamic veil in a street in the northern city of Novara. The municipality banned the burqa in public spaces in January according to a local official quoted by the AFP agency.

AFP - Italian police fined a Muslim woman for wearing a full Islamic veil in a street in the northern city of Novara, possibly the first such incident in Italy, city officials said Tuesday.

"City police ticketed her last night and she will have to pay a 500-euro (650-dollar) fine," Mauro Franzinelli of the Novara municipal police told AFP.

"As far as I know this is a first in Italy," he said adding that the woman could appeal.

Novara, in Italy's northeastern Piedmont region, is a stronghold of the anti-immigration Northern League, a key party in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government.

The woman, a Tunisian national, was stopped by police officers outside a post office in the company of her husband.

When her husband refused to have her identified by male officers they called in a patrol comprising a woman officer.

"City hall adopted a decree in late January banning the burqa in public places and their vicinity, which is based on a commentary by the interior ministry who received a copy of the draft," said Franzinelli, who is also a local Northern League official.

Covering one's face -- with a veil or a motorcycle helmet -- in public has been banned in Italy since 1975.

Date created : 2010-05-04

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