UN condemns France’s violation of Muslim headscarf rights

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A United Nations panel yesterday ruled that France had violated an “international human rights treaty” by preventing a Muslim woman from wearing her headscarf in school.

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) said in a statement that the French move had violated “rights guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).”

The Committee’s decision had come after a complaint that was filed by a French Muslim woman in 2016.

In her complaint, the woman said she was participating in a professional training programme for adults in 2010, and had passed an interview and entrance test before she was accepted into the programme. She added that the principal of the school, Lycée Langevin Wallon in Paris, had refused to let her in the school campus with her headscarf.

READ: French student jailed in Morocco for suspected cybercrimes

“Preventing her from participating in the professional course while wearing a headscarf constitutes a restriction on her religious freedom, in violation of human rights,” the UNHRC stressed.

The decision was issued by the Committee in March, but was reported to have been sent to the woman’s lawyer on Wednesday.

The statement wanted that France had “work to do in the field of human rights, especially with regard to the issue of respect for religious minorities, especially the Muslim community.”

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