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European Rights Court Upholds France's Burqa Ban

Women wearing full-face veils in public spaces has been banned in France since 2011.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has upheld France's ban on women wearing the burqa.

The Strasbourg court ruled on July 1 against a French woman who claimed that the ban -- instituted in 2011 -- is "degrading" and violated her religious freedom.

The 24-year-old university graduate has requested anonymity because of concern over negative reaction to her lawsuit in France, which has one of Europe's largest Muslim populations.

She had said she would be willing to remove her burqa when necessary for security reasons, one of France's main justifications for banning burqas.

Women wearing full-face veils in public spaces can be fined up to 150 euros ($205).

Belgium and some parts of Switzerland have followed France's lead in banning burqas in public.

Parts of Italy and the Netherlands are also considering instituting the burqa ban.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP