Switzerland Votes to Ban Face Coverings in Public
In a referendum, which would have far-reaching consequences, Switzerland voted to ban face coverings in public Sunday.
The referendum was supported by 51.2 percent of the voters.
Switzerland has a system of direct democracy where citizens vote for issue-based measures in referendums.
The proposal was floated by the Swiss People’s Party. The government was campaigning for voting against the proposal, arguing it was not the government’s job to dictate the clothing style of citizens.
But, since the people have voted for the ban, the government will have no option but to implement it.
Muslim groups have been opposing the move on the ground that it’s targeted against the community. Although, the proposal did not mention any religion in particular.
It is aimed at violent protestors who wear face masks before carrying out rioting and arson.
In a similar referendum in 2009, Swiss people had voted to ban the construction of minarets. That proposal was also floated by the Swiss People’s Party.
France has similarly banned wearing full-face masks since 2011. The rule was challenged in the European Court of Human Rights but the court upheld the law.