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LRA calls to ban face-concealing clothes in public places

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUConsidering the situation in other European countries, Latvian Regional Alliance has developed a draft to prohibit wearing face-concealing clothes in public places. The party hopes this measure will help increase safety and order in Latvia.

It is planned to apply a fine of EUR 150 for wearing face-concealing clothes in public places. For forcing people to cover their face in public places, people will be fined EUR 350, as reported by LRA.

Due to the rising numbers of asylum seekers coming from Africa and Near East in Europe, Latvia can expect certain risks to increase. According to experience, terrorists and other violent individuals often use face-concealing clothes in public places to cause acts of terror, damaging properties and injuring people. This is why it is prohibited to wear face-concealing clothes in many parts of the EU, including France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. The party adds that it is prohibited for women who work in public places, especially schools and offices, to wear face-concealing clothes.

«The matter of refugees has come from being a problem for certain countries to an entirely new solidarity and security challenge for all EU member states. This has become an acute problem in Latvia as well. It could very well cause a constitutional crisis in the country. In order to reduce the possibility for these problems to escalate even further in the future, LRA suggests acting now. People from other corners of the Earth carry over their culture, habits and traditions. Our objective is to help them understand and accept our traditions and laws. The sooner and the clearer we define rules, the less likely new crises and potential security risks will be,» – emphasizes LRA Saeima faction leader Dainis Liepins.

The European Court for Human Rights has declared than prohibiting people from wearing face-concealing clothes does not go against religious freedom, freedom of speech, is not discriminating and fully complies with human rights.

The law will allow certain people to conceal their face if their duty requires it. The ban will not apply to sport and art events, as well as traditional cultural festivities.

BNN had previously reported that Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis had urged politicians to begin a discussion on the necessity of adopting this ban in Latvia.


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