Denmark fines first woman for violating 'burqa ban'

Both women were charged with disturbing the peace.

The woman was informed she would receive a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156, 134 euros) in the post, and was told to either remove her veil or leave the public space.

They marched from Norrebro to the Bellahoj police station on the outskirts of the city in order to show their condemnation of this new law, which many say goes against women's rights to freedom of expression and religion.

The police took pictures of the woman for evidence.

Should the woman refuse to pay the 1,000 kroner fine, the case will be sent on to the courts.

Friday's incident is reported to have taken place at a shopping centre in Horsholm, 25km (15 miles) north of Copenhagen.

"During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again", Mr Borchersen said.

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Some Muslim women have said they will not adhere to the law - which carries a 10,000 ($1,500; £1,200) kroner penalty for repeat offenders.

Chief of Police at North Zealand Police, David Borchersen, tells Politiken that the presence of police in Hørsholm Midtpunkt relates exclusively to the tumult between the two women, and nothing has to do with the fact that one with his attire contravened the law.

Denmark is the latest European country to ban such items of clothing, joining several other nations including France, Belgium and Germany.

As of August 1, wearing full-body burqas and the niqab, a veil worn by some Muslim woman that only shows the eyes, in public carries a fine in Denmark.

Critics see the law - approved by parliament in May - as encouraging anti-immigrant sentiments, pointing to the very small number of Muslim women in Denmark who actually wear full-face veils.

Protests in Denmark broke out over the new law, which also bans balaclavas, masks, and false beards.

  • Sonia Alvarado