Jail threat over Muslim burqa

2011-08-19 10:01

kalahari.com

Sydney - Australian authorities on Friday said motorists who refused to take off face-covering veils such as the burqa when asked to do so by police could be sent to jail for up to a year.

Under the changes to laws in New South Wales state, police will be able to ask drivers to remove helmets, masks, the face-covering niqab veil and the all-body garment the burqa.

Refusal to do so would incur a fine of A$220 ($228), but in the most serious cases could result in up to a year in jail and a fine of A$5 500.

"People will only be required to remove a face covering for as long as it takes to identify them," New South Wales state Premier Barry O'Farrell said.

"Those who want to be identified privately for cultural and religious reasons can request to go to a police station."

Identity

The changes, to be introduced to parliament next week, will also give officials the power to request the removal of face coverings in courts while visitors to prison could also be asked to remove any coverings that obscure their identity. Those who refuse could be fined up to $550.

"I have every respect for different religions and beliefs but when it comes to enforcing the law, the police should be given adequate powers to make a clear identification," O'Farrell said in a statement.

The change follows the recent case of a Muslim woman being acquitted when a magistrate ruled she could not be positively identified because was wearing a burqa.

In the high-profile case, Sydney woman Carnita Matthews was sentenced to six months in jail in November 2010 for falsely accusing a police officer of forcibly trying to remove her burqa.

But her sentence was later quashed after a magistrate said he could not be 100% sure it was Matthews who later walked into a police station to make the complaint because officers were not able to see the face of the accuser.

Police already have the power to ask women to remove face veils during the investigation of serious offences, but not on more routine matters.

The wearing of full-face niqab veils by some Muslim women has become a contentious issue in parts of Europe, where France has banned them in public.

The New South Wales state ombudsman will review the new laws after they have been in place for a year.
- SAPA
Read more on:    australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
129 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Job: Senior Java Developer, Digital Production Agency, R25k – R70k

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Initiate International
R25 000 - R70 000 Per Month

CRM

Cape Town
DAV Professional Placement Group
R240 000 Per Year

Customer Service Advisor

Cape Town
Teleresources Cape Town
R5 000 - R5 500 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mercury has moved into Libra which adds a more social energy to the way you can communicate and connect things. Today is about...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.