Women arrested in Paris for veil law defiance

A WOMAN flanked by two friends is taken away by police officers yesterday as France’s ban on Islamic veils met with a burst of defiance. Women appeared with their faces covered in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and two were detained for taking part in an unauthorised protest.

France became the world’s first country to ban the veils anywhere in public after president Nicolas Sarkozy declared they imprisoned women and contradicted national values of dignity and equality. About a dozen people, including three women wearing niqab veils protested in front of Notre Dame.

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Police said they detained two of the women because the protest was not authorised and they refused to disperse when asked to.

It was not clear whether the women were fined for wearing a veil. The fine is 150 euro (£133).