European court upholds French ban on face veils

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PARIS (AP) -- The European Court of Human Rights has upheld France's law banning face-covering Muslim veils from the streets, in a case brought by a woman who claimed her freedom of religion was violated.

Tuesday's ruling by the Strasbourg-based court was the first of its kind since France passed a law in 2010 that forbids anyone to hide his or her face in an array of places, including the street. The law went into effect in 2011.

The court's Grand Chamber, the highest forum, rejected the arguments of the French woman in her mid-20s who contended the law violated her freedom of conscience and religion and was discriminatory.

It ruled that the law's bid to promote harmony in a diverse population is legitimate and doesn't breach the European Convention on Human Rights.


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