Australian police now authorised to lift burqa

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Melbourne, Jul 6: With the veil becoming a whale of a problem for law enforcement officials in Australia and New Zealand, police in the Australian state of New South Wales has been given powers to demand the removal of the burqa or any other veil in the event of a suspicion of crime.

The new legislation was passed by the state cabinet to empower the police force. The legislation was passed following a recent case where a Muslim woman was acquitted when a judge ruled that the woman could not be identified since she was wearing a burqa. New Zealand Premier, Barry O' Farrel has been quoted as saying earlier, “I don't care whether a person is wearing a helmet, a burqa, a naqab, face veil, the police should be allowed to require those people to make their identification clear."

With the details of the new law yet to be revealed by the New South Wales government, according to reports in the ABC, the law states that anyone refusing to show their face to the police could be fined Australian dollars 5,500 or jailed for upto an year.

The law was implemented following the sensational case of Carnita Matthew who was jailed for six months in Nov 2010. She had falsely accused the police of forcibly removing her burqa when she was stopped for violating traffic rules. Her sentence was however quashed by a judge last month who observed that she was not identified as the officers could not see her face.

OneIndia News

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