March 8 (UPI) – Switzerland voted to ban face coverings in public, prompting backlash from human rights teams and Islamic organizations who say it discriminates towards Muslim girls.
In a slim victory for the right-wing Swiss Populist Folks’s Occasion on Sunday, 51.2% of voters authorized its proposal to ban face masks, together with the Islamic niqab and burqa, in public areas besides in particular conditions. security, climate or well being, relying on official outcomes of the Swiss authorities.
The Swiss Populist Folks’s Occasion celebrated the referendum end result, calling it A declaration “a robust image within the battle towards radical political Islam”.
Occasion chairman Marco Chiesa mentioned “scarf ban” is authorized and doesn’t violate human rights, highlighting European Court docket of Human Rights rulings to keep up related bans adopted by the international locations of the bloc.
“It’s authentic for the state to take such measures to fulfill the calls for of coexistence in society,” Chiesa mentioned. “The burqa creates a barrier between its wearer and the atmosphere and thus prevents integration into society.”
The social gathering additionally declared by voting sure to the ban of the veil, the Swiss voters say sure to extra safety “as a result of it’s expressly directed towards the hooligans and the left. [rioters] who commit violence and vandalism underneath the masks.
With the vote, Switzerland joins Austria, France and the Netherlands amongst different European international locations in banning face covers and comes after in 2009 vote to ban minarets.
The vote got here after researchers on the College of Lucerne mentioned in a research printed in December that solely three dozen girls within the nation repeatedly put on a niqab, which is a veil that covers the face with a gap for the eyes.
The Central Council of Muslims of Switzerland chastised voting as representing “a darkish day” for Muslims.
“At this time’s determination opens up previous wounds, additional expands the precept of authorized inequality and sends a transparent sign of exclusion to the Muslim minority,” the group mentioned.
Cyrielle Huguenot, head of ladies’s rights at Amnesty Worldwide, rebuked the argument that the ban will liberate girls, saying: “It’s a harmful and symbolic coverage that violates the rights to freedom of expression and faith. “.
The worldwide human rights group has mentioned it’s now calling on Swiss politicians to make sure that the ban doesn’t additional marginalize girls or exclude them from public areas.
“The authorities should now strengthen measures to guard girls who are suffering from violence and actual discrimination in Switzerland, no matter their faith and origin,” mentioned Huguenot in A declaration.