Second Swiss region votes in favor of ‘burqa ban’

Second Swiss region votes in favor of ‘burqa ban’
Second Swiss region votes in favor of ‘burqa ban’

The majority of voters in Switzerland’s canton of St. Gallen have supported the prohibition of face-covering garments in public spaces, making it the second region in the country to introduce such a ban.

The northeastern region held a referendum on Sunday to decide whether stricter rules on the face veils are necessary, among other issues. Around 36 percent of the region’s half-million population came out to cast their votes, and nearly 67 percent of voters supported the new law, official results show.

St. Gallen, the fifth-most populous Swiss canton, will become the second region in the country to approve such a measure, following the example of the southernmost canton of Ticino. A complete ban on wearing burqas and niqabs in public places came in force in Ticino is 2016, with non-compliance punishable by fines ranging from 100 Swiss francs ($104) to 10,000 ($10,400). The Italian-speaking canton has a population of 350,000, around two percent of whom are Muslim. 

Last year, Swiss authorities rejected a popular campaign sponsored by a right-wing party calling for a nationwide ban on face veils, allowing the regions to decide individually on the matter.

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RT

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