EUROPE > Covered woman in France sentenced to 6 months in prison


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A Muslim woman speaks with a French gendarme during an identity control, on September 22, 2012 near the prefecture of Lille, northern France. AFP photo

A Muslim woman speaks with a French gendarme during an identity control, on September 22, 2012 near the prefecture of Lille, northern France. AFP photo

A court in France's northern province of Lille sentenced a fully-covered 18-year-old woman to 6 months in prison on Oct.30 for refusing to present her identity card to police, reported AFP.

The woman, who wasn't identified in reports, refused to show her identity card to police, telling them she didn’t have time before attempting to escape. The woman kicked police officers who followed and eventually caught her.

The woman was convicted of willful violence, outrage, rebellion and incitement to riot and was issued a sentence two times longer than expected. The prosecutor had originally demanded a 3 month prison sentence.  

"If she had shown her face she would have avoided beginning her career with an adult criminal record," said the prosecutor.

Covered women in France are legally required to show their faces and identify themselves as of Oct. 11, 2010, when a law prohibiting "the concealment of face in a public space" went into effect.


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Suhail Shafi

7/19/2013 12:35:36 AM

Liberte ? Egalite ? Fraternite ? These incidents make France look like a racist police state.

john albay

11/10/2012 9:34:40 PM

if she want to dress in the sack and live in the middle ages then go to saudi arabia! In France the rules are really clean NO sak or veil,she broke the law so she goes to prison. If it happened in saudi that a woman did not cover herself it is the whip.

sam stevens

11/9/2012 11:20:38 AM

Well done France, I am delighted to see they have the courage to carry this law through. Such women...no doubt pushed by their men are being very very silly trying to create trouble. If she cannot obey the law then she should be treated like the rest of us when we break the law & take the punishment. Covering a face & wearing a burka is a known way for men to gain access to areas they should not,any woman not understanding this needs to learn how we feel about the dangers/ugliness of it.


11/7/2012 9:54:15 AM

@ Jon Goodfellow; If you think that " To simply ban ones customary habit and imprison "offenders" seems a reprise of the Ancien Regime", this kind of behaviour sits well with th regime of "covering up aned refusing to let men see a woman's face". From one regime to another should be well understood, as in Saudi Arabia, french woman would have to abide by their rules. Whatever way you look at it, this lady has to abide by the rules of the country..sorry but that's the long and the short of it!

Jon Goodfellow

11/6/2012 4:44:42 PM

Despite some commenters here, this episode bothers me. It seems to violate the spirit of "liberte, egalite, fraternite". To simply ban ones customary habit and imprison "offenders" seems a reprise of the Ancien Regime . If its a matter of pragmatic intent: preventing terrorist activity, why don't they simply have a female police officer do the face inspection if they suspect anything bad. Next, do we expect the French government to hand out Charles Martel bumperstickers?

mike alexander

11/5/2012 3:35:28 AM

I assume nobody forced this woman to live in France. However, now that she is living in the land of France she MUST obey the RULES of this COUNTRY. If she does not like it, she is FREE to go back where she came from. Can you imaging if you want to do what ever the Christians do in Saudi Arabia ???? Mama Mia, for this person. That is all I can say !!!!


11/2/2012 1:29:33 PM

@AF: Sadly, you don't see that you as the human are making the keyboad work...... very worrying


11/2/2012 1:20:30 PM

@illawarrior Hill: Excellent ! :)

af fay

11/2/2012 1:18:08 PM

@B12 sorry my keyboard was writing all these comments by itself I am not the one you should be addressing to it is my keyboard and it is between you and my keyboard :)

illawarrior hill

11/2/2012 12:36:00 PM

@ Af Fay I think you will find that boiling and freezing temperatures vary significantly with changes in barometric pressure which usually changes with altitude. As for the sun rising at the same time every day ... you must be joking. The further one is from the equator, the more marked is the seasonal time of sunrise and sunset. There are only two equinoxes each year when daytime = night-time. Where I live ... the sun rises approx 2 hors earlier in summer, than in winter
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