Austrian full-face veil ban comes into force

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Vienna, Oct 1 (IANS) A legislation banning full-face Muslim veils in public spaces came into effect in Austria on Sunday, the media reported.

According to the government, the law, which says faces must be visible from the hairline to the chin, is about protecting Austrian values, reports the BBC.

It comes ahead of a general election later this month which could see gains by the far-right Freedom Party.

Muslim groups have condemned the law, saying just about 150 of Austrian Muslim women wear full-face veils.

The law bans Muslim veils such as the burka or niqab, but also places restrictions on the use of medical face masks and clown makeup.

France and Belgium introduced a burka ban in 2011 and a similar measure is currently going through the Dutch parliament.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the full-face veil should be prohibited in Germany “wherever it is legally possible”.

The UK does not ban the niqab or burka.

–IANS

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