Police want alternative for burka wearers after ban; against the law, says Ministry

A woman wearing a niqab
A woman wearing a niqabPhoto: djedzura/DepositPhotos

The police want to offer an alternative for burka or niqab wearers who want to come to a police station to make a report after the ban on face-covering clothing takes effect on August 1st. A police directive states that people who do not want to take off their veil "for religious reasons" can go to a separate area, a so-called reporting area, to make their report. This alternative is against the law, the Ministry of Home Affairs said to NRC.

The so-called burka ban, officially called the Partial Ban On Face Covering Clothing Act, takes effect on Thursday. From then on it is illegal to enter government buildings or public transport with clothing that covers your face. This includes police stations. If someone wearing a burka walks into a police station, they will have to take it off or leave the building. Those who violate the ban face a fine of 150 euros.

The Ministry of Home Affairs told NRC that the police or other authorities are allowed to look for ways to accommodate people who wear face-covering clothing for religious reasons after the ban takes effect. "As long as the law is still complied with." The alternative mentioned in the police directive does not comply with the law, according to the Ministry. "The law applies to the entire building, including the entire police station."