Judge in French Riviera's Nice deals further blow to burkini foes

September 2, 2016 15:07


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PARIS - Attempts to ban burkini-clad women from the beaches of France's Riviera coast suffered a further setback when a judge in the city of Nice declared the prohibition of the body-hiding swimwear to be illegal there.

The verdict delivered on Thursday was the latest of several rulings against bans imposed by local authorities in dozens of southeastern beach resorts in the peak holiday month of August - bans that sparked intense controversy inside and outside France.

Nice, where 86 people died in an Islamic State militant attack in July, was one of some 30 towns in the largely right-wing part of the country to ban the burkini on the grounds that it presented a threat to public order.

The burkini, which is predominantly worn by Muslim women and covers all of the body bar face, hands and feet, has become a target at a time when identity politics is gaining traction following a string of deadly Islamist attacks in France.

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