First women fined under France's naqib law

Sept. 22, 2011 at 7:10 AM
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PARIS, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Two women fined for wearing a full-face veil despite a law banning it in France said they would appeal their punishment to the European Court of Human Rights.

Hind Amas and Najate Nait Ali were fined for wearing the niqab in public outside Meaux town hall in eastern Paris soon after the law went into effect in May, the BBC reported Thursday.

Thursday's sentencing was being followed throughout France and by other European countries. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland either have or are considering similar legislation, the British broadcaster said.

Amas, 32, was fined about $161. She said before court she hoped she would be fined so she could challenge the law.

"Without a condemnation I can't move forward. There has to be this sanction with a fine so that I can take this to the European Court of Human Rights," she said. "It's imperative that there's a sanction."

Najate Nait Ali was fined $107.

Amas and Ali were the first of 91 women stopped by French police to be fined, the BBC said.

Meanwhile, a woman who wears a niqab, Kenza Drider, has said she will run for president in the 2012 election. She has become a campaigner for women in France who maintain wearing the niqab is a personal choice and a right under European law.

"The reality is, there is a lot of unemployment in France and a lot of problems in France so let's not focus on what I wear. Let's deal with the real problems," Drider said. "So my candidacy is really being done for that. To say don't stop at what I'm wearing, but go much deeper."

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