French court convicts Islamic veil-wearing woman


Cassandra Belin fined for 'wearing clothing that hides the face' and given suspended jail term for threatening police in arrest that led to riots.

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A French court has kicked out a challenge to France's burka law and given a young woman a suspended prison sentence for a dispute with police officers who arrested her for wearing the face-covering niqab, reports RFI.

A court in Versailles, near Paris, on Wednesday condemned 20-year-old Cassandra Belin a one-month suspended jail term for insulting and threatening police officers and a 150-euro fine for "wearing clothing that hides the face".

It also threw out a challenge to the law on the grounds that it breaches the constitutional provision of equality for all, declaring that the Constitutional Council has already declared it legitimate.

Riots broke out in Trappes, a town near Paris, in July after Belin, a Muslim convert, and her husband, Michaël Khiri, confronted police officers who had stopped her because she was wearing niqab.

Belin did not attend Wednesday's hearing, a fact that was "deplored" by magistrate Florence Perret, who said that she would have been prepared to discuss a sentence of community service if the accused had been present.

Read more of this report from RFI.

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