Vienna [Austria], October 2: Muslim women in Austria were forced by the police to remove their facial coverings on Sunday, as an anti-burqa law came into effect.
The ‘burqa ban’ prohibits facial coverings including niqabs and burqas and also places restrictions on surgical masks, ski masks and clown makeup worn in public.
Yesterday, a woman wearing a niqab facial veil, which only leaves the eyes uncovered, was seen being told to remove her veil by two police officers in Zell am See, a city south of Saltzburg.
Those who defy the ban could face a fine of €150 (£132).
While the rule applies to some non-religious facial coverings, it is generically perceived to be directed at the extremely modest clothes worn by a minority of Muslim women.
The measures, similar to those in other European Union countries such as France, also apply to visitors.