Austrian police have forced a Muslim woman to remove her niqab a day after a new law banning the full-face veil in public came into effect across the country.
Photos were widely shared on social media showing two armed police officers surrounding the young Muslim woman while she removed her niqab in the southern city of Saltzburg.
The Austrian government outlawed all garments which conceal the face in public places like niqab and the burqa.
The new legislation states that only under certain environments like “cultural events” will people be able to wear them in public.
Austrian authorities stated that faces must be visible from the hairline to the chin under the new ban.
Police are allowed to use force to make people show their face and can impose fines of €150 (£132) on the spot.
Muslim groups have condemned the law saying only a tiny minority of women in the country wear full-face veils.
Austria claims that the new legislation aims to protect its country’s “values”.
According to the new law, “those who are not prepared to accept Enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society,” a government source told the BBC.
Austria isn’t the first European country to enforce veil bans in spite of protests from Muslim groups across the continent.
France and Belgium have introduced similar laws in 2011. The Dutch parliament is also debating a similar ban.
Similar restrictions have also been adopted in the Netherlands in 2015.
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