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Swiss MPs vote for Burqa Ban

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Swiss MPs have approved a far-right motion to ban the wearing of the burqa or other face coverings in certain public places, including public transport.

By a vote of 101 to 77, the lower house of parliament approved the motion, titled “Masks Off!” on Wednesday.

The bill must still be considered by the upper house.

The motion, submitted by Oskar Freysinger, a politician from the far-right SVP Switzerland, stipulates that “anyone who addresses a federal, cantonal or municipal authority in the exercise of their duties must show their naked upper body.”

The burqa is also to be banned on public transportation, and “authorities may prohibit or restrict such persons from entering public buildings to ensure the safety of other users.”

At a time when insecurity is increasing on our streets, more and more people are hiding their faces behind a balaclava, mask or burqa,” Freysinger said, justifying the motion.

“This makes it impossible to identify these people, which is particularly problematic in cases of violence or identity checks,” the expert said.

France was the first EU country to ban the wearing of the burqa in public places, and Belgium followed suit a few months later.

On Sept. 16, the Dutch government agreed to ban the Islamic full-face veil as part of an agreement with the far-right party of anti-immigrant MP Geert Wilders.

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