Woman with niqab detained in Schaarbeek

Police detained a woman in the Brussels borough of Schaarbeek on Tuesday because she was wearing a niqab. The garment is a full veil sometimes worn by Muslim women that only leaves the eyes uncovered. It is banned in Belgium.

The incident arose when the police attempted to check the woman's identity. Police officer Roland Thiébault :"Her husband refused to let us carry out an identity check invoking the woman's human rights. The couple became more and more aggressive and then a bystander intervened. This person too created a serious disturbance on the public highway. The three people were then taken to the police station to check the woman's identity and draw up a police report. There was a violation of the ban on wearing the burqa. Resistance was offered to police officers. There was slander and threats were issued at the police."

Belgium banned the burqa in public because it prevents the identification of the wearer. The woman now risks a 50 euro fine. The two men too face a prosecution.