French court suspends burkini ban

(CNN)Mayors do not have the right to ban burkinis, France’s highest administrative court ruled Friday.

The Council of State’s ruling suspends a ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice, and could affect cities around the country that have prohibited the full-length swimsuit.
    More than 30 French towns have banned burkinis, which cover the whole body except for the face, hands and feet.
    Officials say the ban on the burkini — worn mostly by Muslim women — wasa response to growing terror concerns.
    Human rights activists argue thatsuch measures are illegal, and that pushes to outlaw the garment are Islamophobic.

    Photo sparks outrage

    The bans followed a series of terror attacks in France — including a truck rampage in Nice that killed 84, and the stabbing of an 86-year-old priest in northern France, both last month.
    Earlier this week, photos of police enforcing a ban in Nice spread rapidly on social media. The images show armed officers apparently ordering a woman to remove part of her clothing.


    Those breaking the law face fines of 150 euros (about $205) or public service duties.
    The law was upheld by the European Convention on Human Rights in 2014 after a 24-year-old woman brought the case to court, claiming it infringed on her religious freedom.
    The government also previously banned Muslim headscarves and other “conspicuous” religious symbols in French schools in February 2004.


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