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Monday 19.03.2018 | Name days: Jāzeps

Restrictions planned for concealment of faces in public places

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Monday, 7 August, the Cabinet of Ministers Committee will view the legislative draft for the Face Concealment Restriction Law. Officials will decide on the legislative draft’s submission further to the Cabinet of Ministers for review.

«The goal of the legislative draft is ensuring unified and harmonic society, protecting Latvian and European cultural space, preservation of open communication among people and better safety for members of society in general,» Latvian Justice Ministry explains.

The legislative draft provides restrictions for face concealment in public places to thereby establish basic values ​​of an open society, the ministry explains.

Legal restrictions will apply to all social groups regardless of gender, age, religious or philosophical views, race or ethnic origin. Restrictions will also apply to all kind of items that cover the wearer’s face (masks, helmets that cover the face, burqas and niqabs).

Justice Ministry emphasizes that a face can be considered concealed when it is impossible to identify a person. Restrictions will not apply to headwear that covers only the hair and not the face. Rules will not apply to sunglasses.

Concealment of one’s face in a public place will be permitted in certain exceptions: for officials performing duties; participants of sports, art and state celebrations; under heavy weather conditions or in a state of poor health.

The legislative draft does not consider religious temples and other premises intended for praying as public places.

Justice Ministry adds that Latvia is not the first country to establish restrictions in relation to clothes that conceal the wearer’s face.


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