Scuffle breaks out as first woman fined for flaunting Denmark’s ‘burqa ban’

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Police in Denmark fined a 28-year-old woman for wearing a full face veil, the first time a punishment was meted out since it became illegal on Wednesday.

The police took a photo of the woman in the niqab, as well as securing other video evidence from surveillance cameras in the shopping centre.

After police were called, they found that she had been illegally wearing a niqab in public and - when she refused to remove it - she was issued a fine of 1,000 Danish kroner (£120).

"During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again", Borchersen said. But the law - popularly known as the "burqa ban" - is seen by some as directed at Muslim women who choose to wear the face veil in public.

The ban has been met with a great deal of criticism, with Fotis Filippou, Europe director of human rights group Amnesty International, saying: "If the intention of this law was to protect women's rights, it fails abjectly".

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Recently people of all ages also took to the streets in Copenhagen in protest of the controversial ban, wearing face veils including the niqab and full-length burqa. While the law does not mention Islamic facial coverings such as burqas or niqabs by name, Human Rights Watch has labelled the ban as "discriminatory" and said it was the "latest in a harmful trend".

She was also informed she would receive a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156/€134) in the mail.

The Danish parliament enacted the face ban in May, joining France and some other European countries to uphold what some politicians say are secular and democratic values.

Supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society.

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