French court suspends burkini ban

France's highest administrative court has suspended a ban on burkinis.

Burkini ban protest outside the French embassy in London | Photo credit: Press Association

By Julie Levy-Abegnoli

26 Aug 2016

France's Conseil d'Etat, the country's highest administrative court has ruled that a ban on burkinis in Villeneuve-Loubet, along the Mediterranean coast, encroaches on the country's civil liberties. Villeneuve-Loubet is one of 15 or so other French towns that set up a ban on burkinis.

However, the ruling is only temporary, and only concerns Villeneuve-Loubet.

The bans have been hugely controversial, sparking a political row in France over the notion of secularism and fuelling anger abroad.

They have divided the French government, and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy, in the running for next year's election, has called for a nationwide ban on the full-body swimsuits.

Reacting to the court's decision, French MEP Younous Omarjee, a member of Parliament's GUE/NGL group, said, "The court's decision guarantees fundamental freedoms, and must put an end to these outbursts."

The case was brought forth by the League of Human Rights. The Conseil d'Etat is expected to issue a permanent ruling in the coming weeks.



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