A Muslim woman of Albanian origin has been fined 30,000 euros in Italy for refusing to remove a veil covering the face known as niqab at a town hall meeting.
The 40-year-old woman wore full-body veil to a youth parliament meeting in San Vito al Tagliamento, a commune in the Italian province of Pordenone, last month, Italian daily Messaggero Veneto reported Friday.
According to the report, she was asked by the town’s mayor to remove the veil so she could be identified but refused.
Apparently after a legal complaint by the mayor, the woman, who has lived in Italy for 16 years, was initially sentenced to four months in prison and a 600-euro fine. The fine was, however, converted by a higher court to 30,000 euros after she appealed against the original ruling.
There is no official ban on hijab in Italy; however, Italian law requires that people not keep their head and face covered in a public place without “justification.”
The European Court of Justice, however, has made a ruling declaring it illegal to fire a woman because she wears hijab to work.
The veiling of the head by women is common practice among many world religions, including Judaism and Christianity.