eurel     Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà


  • January 2018 : Law on the restriction on wearing face coverings

A draft law on the restriction on wearing face coverings worked out by the Ministry of Justice (2015) is still under consideration. It has not yet reached the Parliament of Latvia, Saeima, which will have to decide whether to support it conceptually. On August 7, 2017, the Committee of the Cabinet of Ministers examined this draft and supported forwarding it for further consideration in the Cabinet of Ministers. On November 14, 2017, the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Latvian Saeima did not pass a decision on the draft “Law on the restriction on wearing face coverings” because representatives of several institutions and several MPs had voiced criticism about the quality of the indicative abstract and the wording of the draft.

Several state institutions and officials in charge objected to the draft law on the restriction on wearing face coverings. The Security police emphasised two aspects : (1) introducing any kind of bans resonates negatively with the individuals concerned ; (2) international terrorist organisations pay attention to countries that they perceive as having regulations that oppress Muslims. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not convinced by the assessment of the situation in Latvia given in the draft law, because the necessity of posing such a restriction was based on arguments taken over from France and Belgium – the only European countries which have introduced a general ban on wearing in public garments that cover the face. The Office of the Ombudsman pointed out that by restricting specific groups of individuals to wear veils covering the face it is impossible to reach the intended aim, which is to ensure the existence of a united and harmonious society.

D 26 janvier 2018    AAnita Stasulane

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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