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