France: Women in France Banned From Wearing the Veil in Public, says Amnesty International

Press Release
April 11, 2011

France: Women in France Banned From Wearing the Veil in Public, says Amnesty International

Amnesty International
Media Release For Immediate Release
Monday, April 11, 2011

Women in France Banned From Wearing the Veil in Public, says Amnesty International

Organization Condemns Arrest of Protesters, Calls for Law to be Scrapped

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194

(Washington, D.C.) -- Amnesty International condemns the detention of several people, including two women wearing the full-face veil, who were protesting against the law banning the wearing of any form of clothing concealing one's face in public.

The law came into force today. Police said the people were detained for joining an unauthorized protest in central Paris.

"Women in France have the right to freedom of religion and expression. They must also be free to protest when this right is violated," said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Program director at Amnesty International. "This law puts France to shame – a country that prides itself on the human rights it claims to promote and protect, freedom of expression included."

"The law preventing women in France from expressing their values, beliefs and identity should be scrapped," said Dalhuisen.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org.