Face covering arrest should not have happened: Den Haag police

A man was arrested in Den Haag Centraal on Friday for wearing a balaclava in the station. But the arrest was unjustified, the police in The Hague said on Twitter on Monday.

The arrested man was a demonstrator. He was wearing a balaclava as a counter-protest for a pro-burka protest happening on the Malieveld, according to the Telegraaf. He walked into the station, and was quickly addressed and taken away by police officers, according to the newspaper.

On Monday, the police said that the arrest turned out to be "unjustified" on a "legal basis". The partial ban on face covering clothing, which was implemented in the Netherlands on August 1st, does not apply to the station. The man would only have violated the law if he got onto public transport with the mask still on. "The man was released immediately."

"However, if you walk in the Central Station with a balaclava, it is not strange if you are approached by officers", the police added. 

The ban, officially called the Partial Ban On Face Covering Clothing Act, bans the wear of face-covering clothing in government buildings, education institutions, healthcare institutions and on public transport. It applies to clothing like burkas, niqabs, balaclavas and motorcycle helmets.