France's top court overturns 'burkini' ban

France's highest administrative court – the Council of State – has overturned the controversial ‘burkini ban’ imposed in over two dozen French resort cities and towns.


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The decision comes amid a backlash by rights groups and politicians who called the ban on the concealing beach garment discriminatory and a violation of fundamental rights.

“The decree carried a serious and manifestly illegal infringement of fundamental freedoms such as the freedom to come and go, freedom of conscience and personal freedom,” read a statement issued by the court.

The ruling cancels orders issued by lower-court judges and represents an immediate suspension of the ban which was operating in 26 separate localities.

A court in Nice ruled that a burkini ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet was "necessary, appropriate and proportionate" to prevent public disorder after a succession of terror attacks in France, including one in Nice on July 14.

The Nice court had also said the burkini was “liable to offend the religious convictions or non-convictions of other users on the beach.”

The Ban Sparked Anger In The Country, And The Row Intensified After Pictures Emerged Wednesday Of Armed French Police In Nice Making A Muslim Woman On A Beach Remove Her Long-Sleeved T-Shirt.

Speaking o Anadolu Agency, the Australian inventor of the burkini, Aheda Zanetti, said banning a garment which was “supposed to contribute to enjoyment and a happy and healthy lifestyle, body and soul” was like “enslaving the wearer by removing freedom of choice”.

“Finally, the French authorities have realized that a burkini swimsuit does not represent anything except that a woman chooses to be a little bit modest and wants to swim. Finally, they have listened to us,” Zanetti added.