After some 14 years of discussions and failed attempts, the Netherlands is implementing the so-called burka ban today. From now on you are not allowed to wear face-covering clothing in government buildings, education institutions, healthcare institutions, and public transport.
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.
People who violate the so-called burka ban can be fined 150 euros, the Public Prosecution Service said in a prosecution directive. The ban,officially called the Partial Ban On Face Covering Clothing Act, applies to wearing face-covering clothing in public spaces like government buildings, hospitals, schools, and on public transportation. It takes effect on August 1st.
The Amsterdam triangle of municipality, police and Public Prosecutor call on Ajax supporters to not light fireworks or torches before, during and after the Champions League semi-final match against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. The city will allow a so-called entrada, but only on Arenapark next to the stadium and only if no fireworks are lit.
Public transit companies in the Netherlands are concerned about how they will have to enforce the impending ban on face-covering clothing. Dutch transport association KNV foresees practical problems in refusing people wearing burkas and similar items, secretary Arjan Vaandrager said to AD.
"We are dependent on the police for enforcement", Vaandrager said to the newspaper. "When police do not show up it can have consequences for the safety of the public transit staff."
The burka ban will apply to everyone, also the Netherlands' large cities, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in reaction to the news that the large cities won't prioritize enforcement of this ban on face covering clothing. "Let us first implement the law. Then the big cities will see that it also applies to them", he said.
Amsterday mayor Femke Halsema must enforce the ban on face-covering clothing, commonly referred to as the burka ban, in the Dutch capital, State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense said on WNL on Sunday. "No one is above the law", Visser said. "Including the mayor of Amsterdam."
A majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, is in favor of a partial ban on wearing face-covering clothing. During a debate in the Senate, the VVD, CDA, PVV, ChristenUnie and SGP supported a legislative proposal for such a ban. The D66, SP, PvdA and GroenLinks are against it, NOS reports.