Woman driver wearing veil fined in France

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Police stopped the 31-year-old in the western city of Nantes and fined her 22 euros  on the grounds that her niqab — an Islamic veil with a slit for the eyes — restricted her view so she could not drive safely.

Nantes: The lawyer for a French Muslim woman fined for driving while wearing a full-face veil accused police on Friday of abusing her human rights, as the government pushes to ban the garment.

Police stopped the 31-year-old in the western city of Nantes and fined her 22 euros (Dh108) on the grounds that her niqab — an Islamic veil with a slit for the eyes — restricted her view so she could not drive safely.

“This fine is not justified on road safety grounds and constitutes a breach of human and women’s rights,” Jean-Michel Pollono, the lawyer for the woman who was not named, said.

He insisted his client could “move freely” and “her field of vision was in no way obstructed”.

He added that “the field of vision of a motorcycle rider wearing a helmet is more restricted.”

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government said Wednesday it would push ahead with a ban on wearing a full-face veil in public, despite a warning from judicial experts that such a law could be unconstitutional. There is strong support in parliament for the ban.