Swiss canton Ticino bans burqa in public places

Published 02.07.2016 01:24

Wearing burqa in public places has been banned in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino in southern Switzerland.

The law, which came into force on Friday, forbids burqas in shops, restaurants, or public buildings, with offenders facing a fine of up to 10,000 Swiss francs (approximately $10,280).

According to Swiss media reports, a Swiss woman who converted to Islam protested the ban in the town of Locarno and was fined 230 Swiss francs ($236).

The region's Parliament approved the referendum in 2013, but it was not enforced until now.

The legislation comes on the heels of similar laws in France, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Switzerland's approximately 420,000 Muslims make up about 5 percent of its total population of 8.34 million.

Ticino, bordering Italy to the south, has some 350,000 residents, or about 4.2 percent of Switzerland's population.

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