It has been one week since the Swiss burqa ban came into force on July 1st, nearly three years after 65% of the region’s voters supported the law in a referendum in 2013 and six months after the parliament passed the law.
RT Local authorities saw their first “violators” on the same day as the ban was enforced. Nora Illi, a member of the Islamic Central Council Switzerland, and a French-Algerian businessman Rachid Nekkaz stood accused of deliberately breaching the law, Swiss Info reported.
Nora Illi was caught wearing a full-length Burqa in Ticino’s city of Locarno. She was accompanied by an avid opponent of burqa bans Nekkaz.
Both were ordered to pay fines. Nekkaz who was accused of incitement to breach the legislation was immediately fined 200 Swiss francs or US$205 while Illi’s penalty is yet to be decided. A fine can range from 100 francs ($98) to 10,000 francs ($10,200).
As the law came into force on Friday, the Saudi Arabian embassy in Bern posted a warning for their citizens planning to visit Switzerland.
“The embassy wishes to emphasize that the Ticino cantonal authorities in south eastern Switzerland have announced that as of July 1, 2016 they will start to enforce the burka (niqab) ban in public places in the canton, including in Lugano, Locarno, Magadino, Bellinzona, Ascona and Mendrisio, “ the embassy wrote on Twitter.
It urged the citizens “to respect and conform to Swiss rules and regulations in order avoid all problems.”
Italy will join Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and Belgium to introduce a ban in one of its most prominent regions from January 1. Why isn’t the U.S. imposing a burqa ban of its own?