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French Court Suspends Ban On Burkinis

Muslim models display burkini swimsuits at a shop in Sydney.

France's highest administrative court has suspended a controversial ban on wearing the full-body burkini swimsuit following a legal challenge.

The Council of State ruled on August 26 that local authorities could only restrict individual liberties if there was a “proven risk” to public order.

The appeal was brought by two groups -- the French Human Rights League and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France -- with the aim of overturning a ban on the Islamic swimwear in the southern town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

However, the ruling by the judges in Paris sets a legal precedent for about 30 other municipalities that have similar prohibitions.

Burkinis are designed to cover women's heads, arms, and legs while bathing, in keeping with Islamic standards of modesty.

An uproar over the swimsuits followed a series of recent attacks in France, many of which were claimed by Islamist extremists.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP