French Judge Expels Fully-Veiled Woman from Courtroom

News Agencies – October 8, 2010

A French court on Friday expelled a woman from the public gallery for wearing the full Islamic veil, the day after a law banning the garment cleared its final hurdle. “Those people whose faces are visible are allowed to remain in the room wearing their headscarves. However, not that woman in the front row with only the eyes visible,” said the presiding judge. “She is asked to leave the room or take off her veil,” she said during the hearing at Bobigny, northeast of Paris, in the case of two men accused of breaking into the home of a local imam who was in favour of the burqa ban.

“I’m not surprised. I was expecting it, but I still took the risk,” the expelled woman told AFP afterwards, identifying herself only as a 35-year-old from the nearby neighbourhood of Saint Denis.