'They were told to leave': Police boat swoops in and officers order two women wearing hijabs to leave Nice beach despite judge overturning controversial burkini ban
Wearing hijabs and hats, these two women might have thought they could enjoy yesterday on the beach at Nice after a French court overturned the controversial burkini ban.
But it wasn’t long before police appeared and ordered them to leave – just days after armed officers were pictured fining a woman wearing a burkini at the same spot.
The women – one wearing a long dress and the other a trouser suit – were preparing to enjoy a picnic with a young boy when a police launch headed towards them.
The police boat swooped on the women and a male officer spoke to them,’ said a witness to the drama. ‘The women then put all their things away and made their way off the beach. I don’t think any fine was imposed, but they were certainly told to leave.’
The incident was filmed by another beachgoer, who said the women then headed to the Promenade des Anglais to make phone calls before catching a tram.
The burkini ban was introduced following the July terrorist attack in Nice when a lorry was driven into the crowds. A total of 86 people were killed and a further 307 were injured.
The ban prevented anyone from wearing clothes that were ‘overtly religious in nature’.
On Friday, the Council of State – France’s highest appeal court – reversed the ban, saying it was a ‘serious and clearly illegal violation of fundamental freedoms’. But the ruling was quickly dismissed by several towns and cities, including Nice, which vowed to keep the restrictions in place and to continue fining women.
In its decision, the court said local authorities could only introduce measures restricting individual freedoms if wearing the burkini, or other types of clothing that might be linked to religion, represented a ‘proven risk’ to public order.