Burqa Ban: Train stopped in Rotterdam CS over woman in niqab

Woman wearing a Niqab

A train was stopped at Rotterdam Central Station on Monday because of a woman wearing a niqab. According to the police, NS inspectors asked for police aid because the woman refused to show her face to the inspectors so that they could check whether she had a valid ticket. The woman was not fined, NOS reports.

The police officers gave the woman two options - either show her face, or go to a waiting room to wait for a female police officer, the police said The woman wanted to wait for a female officer on the train, but due to the delay for other passengers, the officers did not accept that. The officers threatened to arrest her for violating the ID Act, which obliges people in the Netherlands to identify themselves if te authorities request it. The woman eventually decided to show her face to the officers on the train and the train departed with a 20 minutes delay.

The officers decided not to fine the woman for violating the partial ban on face-covering clothing, which was implemented in the Netherlands on August 1st and carries a fine of 150 euros. A police spokesperson could not tell NOS why the officers decided against a fine, only saying that the police relies on the officer's own judgment when it comes to fining a violation of the so-called burka ban.

As far as is known, this is the second incident on public transport since the ban on face covering clothing was implemented. Last month an Arriva bus driver in the Limburg town of Stein refused to continue driving after a woman refused to take off her niqab. The driver called the police, who escorted the woman off the bus, but also did not fine her. 

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