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Three Women Barred From France For Refusing to Remove Veils

Three Saudi women were turned away from entering France after they refused to remove their veils for border police.


Three Saudi women were turned away from France after refusing to lift their face veils for border police at Charles de Gaulle airport, the Associated Press reported.

An airport official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly for the police, said the women arrived at the Paris airport on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, according to the AP.

They were denied entry into France after refusing to lift their niqabs to show their faces and were put back on a flight to Doha Monday night, Agence France Presse reported.

France instated a law in April 2011 that bans covering one’s face in public, and punishes violators with a fine of up to 150 euros ($190) or citizenship training, according to Al Arabiya. Approximately 300 women were caught breaking the law during its first year in practice, France's interior ministry told Al Arabiya.

Supporters of the ban argue that wearing a face veil, a traditional Muslim practice, violates France's secular culture and women's rights, according to AFP, but Muslim groups say that the ban stigmatizes Muslims.