French bill to ban veiled faces would impose fines

Copy of proposed law shows it would focus on the dignity of women rather than security issues

Published May 18, 2010 8:02PM (EDT)

A bill to ban Muslim veils covering the face to be presented to France's Cabinet would impose fines and, in some cases, citizenship classes.

A copy of the bill, to be presented to the Cabinet on Wednesday, focuses on the dignity of women rather than security issues, as many had speculated would be the case.

According to a copy obtained Tuesday by The AP, the bill stipulates that "no one can wear a garment intended to hide the face in public spaces." The ban would cover streets.

The bill calls for a fine of euro150 ($185) for those breaking the law, and eventual citizenship classes. Anyone convicted of forcing a woman to wear such a veil risks a year in prison and a euro15,000 ($18,555) fine.

The parliament is scheduled to start debating the bill in July.

By Sylvie Corbet

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