Switzerland’s Federal Parliament has approved a bill proposing a ban on burkas, with 151 votes in favor, 29 against, and 6 abstentions.
The approved legislation prohibits the complete covering of the face in public spaces, while in private spaces, eyes, nose, and mouth must be visible.
The bill does include exceptions, allowing face-covering for health reasons, in places of worship, or while on an airplane. Swiss Justice Minister Elisabeth Baume-Schneider noted the need for proportionality in such cases, acknowledging that some might feel safer masking themselves during demonstrations related to “violence against women” or “sexual abuse.”
Walter Wobmann, a member of the People’s Party, also emphasized that the law targets not only burkas but also masked political demonstrators or hooligans causing damage to buildings.
Violators of the ban could face fines up to 1000 Swiss francs, equivalent to approximately 30,000 TL. Once enacted, the burka ban law will be applicable across all cantons of Switzerland.
For the law to come into effect, it still requires the approval of both the National Council and the Council of States. If both councils approve the law, it will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into force. (AA)