The Bulgarian local government area of Pazardzhik has placed a ban on wearing full-face veils in a bid to fine those from the Muslim minority who defy the ban.
The Pazardzhik local government says the ban was put in place in order to prevent tension among communities in the local government and boost security.
Wearing full-face veils had become common among some women from the Muslim Roma minority in a town of about 70,000 and the ban which was backed by politicians, is the first of its kind in the Balkan country.
“I am tired to hear that Pazardzhik is the town of the burqas. We want to say aloud that we are not that, but a town of responsible people and we will be associated with other achievements,” Mayor Todor Popov told national radio.
Popov said fines would be imposed on anyone who defies the ban, which police said was needed because the veils, which cover all but the eyes, hampered quick identification.
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