After a landmark few days in France, a Nice court has finally suspended the burkini ban amid worldwide outrage.
— RT (@RT_com) August 26, 2016
When deciding to suspend the ban, the French court said mayors cannot restrict the liberties of the community unless there is a ‘proven risk’ to public order.
The decision was welcomed by the UN, who argued that banning women from wearing the full-body swimwear on French beaches fuelled religious intolerance and stigmatisation.
The spokesman for the UN rights office, Rupert Colville, told reporters, “These decrees do not improve the security situation but rather fuel religious intolerance and the stigmatisation of Muslims in France, especially women.”
#Burkini: Gender equality can’t be achieved by restricting individual freedoms including by policing what individual women choose to wear.
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) August 30, 2016
“Dress codes such as the anti-burkini decrees disproportionately affect women and girls, undermining their autonomy by denying them the ability to make independent decisions about how to dress, and clearly discriminate against them.”
Nonetheless, Nice and several other towns ignored the ruling, keeping their bans in place.
Nice was one of the first French towns to introduce the burkini ban, after the July 14 terror attack, which involved a jihadist in a truck killing 86 people during Bastille Day celebrations.
But the city’s administrative court said on Thursday that wearing the Islamic swimsuit posed no risk to public order. It was decided, “In the absence of such risks, the emotions and the concerns resulting from terrorist attacks, and especially from the attack on July 14, are insufficient grounds to legally justify the contested ban”.
— Lotte Leicht (@LotteLeicht1) September 1, 2016
The court also said the swimwear poses no risk to “hygiene, decency or safety when swimming”.
It’s estimated that at least 30 fines have been issued in the French Riviera town since the ban was introduced, with anger spreading all over the world when last week photographs were released of a woman being forced to remove her clothing on a Nice beach.