The legislation forbids people from concealing their faces in public, though it allows for exceptions, including for people who need to cover up for work reasons, such as riot police and surgeons.
The law makes no reference to Islam, but it followed a year-long campaign by French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling party against the burqa and niqab, head-to-toe robes worn by a small number of France’s Muslim women. The burqa is “a sign of enslavement and debasement,” Sarkozy said in 2009. (Here’s an earlier LB post on the law.)
Yesterday, a French court for the first time fined two women for defying the law, WSJ reports.
Gilles Devers, a lawyer who represented the two women said his clients would appeal the decision, according to WSJ. “We could eventually take their case to the European Court of Human Rights,” Devers said. . .”
WSJ Law blog has the full story.