UPDATE Women in France banned from wearing the veil in public

Amnesty International condemns the detention of several people, including two women wearing the full-face veil, who were protesting against the law banning the wearing of any form of clothing concealing one’s face in public. Amnesty International understands that those taken in for questioning by police have subsequently been released. The law came into force today. Police said the people were detained for joining an unauthorised protest in central Paris. “Women in France have the right to freedom of religion and expression. They must also be free to protest when this right is violated,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International. “This law puts France to shame – a country that prides itself on the human rights it claims to promote and protect, freedom of expression included.” “The law preventing women in France from expressing their values, beliefs and identity should be scrapped.”