France's top court overturns 'burkini' ban

Council of State says ban was 'serious and manifestly illegal infringement' of personal freedoms

France's top court overturns 'burkini' ban

World Bulletin / News Desk

France's highest administrative court – the Council of State – has overturned the controversial ‘burkini ban’ imposed in over two dozen French resort cities and towns.

Friday’s decision comes amid a backlash by rights groups and politicians who called the ban on the concealing beach garment discriminatory and a violation of fundamental rights.

“The decree carried a serious and manifestly illegal infringement of fundamental freedoms such as the freedom to come and go, freedom of conscience and personal freedom,” read a statement issued by the court.

Today's ruling cancels orders issued by lower-court judges and represents an immediate suspension of the ban which was operating in 26 separate localities.

A court in Nice ruled Monday that a burkini ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet was "necessary, appropriate and proportionate" to prevent public disorder after a succession of terror attacks in France, including one in Nice on July 14.

The Nice court had also said the burkini was “liable to offend the religious convictions or non-convictions of other users on the beach.”

The ban sparked anger in the country, and the row intensified after pictures emerged Wednesday of armed French police in Nice making a Muslim woman on a beach remove her long-sleeved T-shirt.

Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency earlier on Friday, the Australian inventor of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, said banning a garment which was “supposed to contribute to enjoyment and a happy and healthy lifestyle, body and soul” was like “enslaving the wearer by removing freedom of choice”.

“Finally, the French authorities have realized that a burkini swimsuit does not represent anything except that a woman chooses to be a little bit modest and wants to swim. Finally, they have listened to us,” Zanetti added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2016, 17:15