Europe's top court upholds France headscarf ban

Sacking of French Muslim social worker for wearing religious garb did not violate freedom-of-religion law, says court

Europe's top court upholds France headscarf ban

World Bulletin / News Desk

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has unanimously upheld France's headscarf ban in a case brought by a French Muslim social worker sacked in 2000 for wearing a religious veil.

The case was brought by Christiane Ebrahimian in 2011, now 64, a social worker at the psychiatric department at a public hospital in Nanterre.

Back in 2000, the hospital refused to renew Ebrahimian's contract "on account of her refusal to remove her headgear and following complaints from patients" the ECHR said.

On Oct. 17, 2002, France's Administrative Court found that the hospital’s decision "had been in accordance with the principles of secularism and neutrality of public services".

The ruling was upheld in 2004 and 2005 by both the Paris and Versailles Administrative Courts of Appeal.

Europe's top court ruled on Thursday the ban did not violate Article 9 [right to freedom of religion] of the European Convention on Human Rights.

France's 1905 secularism law bans public employees from displaying religious beliefs at work. In 2004, the law was extended to ban students from wearing any "conspicuous signs" of religion, such as headscarves, skullcaps or crucifixes at schools.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Kasım 2015, 16:15