Swiss region overwhelmingly votes for burqa ban

Date: 
September, 2018
Country: 
Switzerland

A second Swiss canton will introduce a regional "burqa ban", after voters in St. Gallen overwhelmingly voted on September 23 to prohibit all face-covering garments in public spaces.

Nearly 67 percent of voters in the northeastern Swiss canton voted in favour of the new law, according to official results, paving the way for it to follow the example of the southern canton of Ticino, where a law was introduced two years ago that appeared to be aimed at burqas and other Muslim veils.

A text stipulating that "any person who renders themselves unrecognisable by covering their face in a public space, and thus endangers public security or social and religious peace will be fined" was adopted by lawmakers in St. Gallen late last year.

That law passed the regional parliament with support from the populist right and centre parties -- but the issue was put to the people after the Green Party and Young Socialists demanded a referendum.

Source: AFP