PARIS: France’s highest administrative court on Friday suspended a ban on the Islamic burkini swimsuit brought by a French Riviera town after it was challenged by rights groups.
In a judgement expected to set a precedent, the State Council ruled that local authorities could only restrict individual liberties if there was a “proven risk” to public order.
The case before the court concerned the French Riviera resort of Villeneuve-Loubet, one of around 30 towns which have passed burkini bans.
The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) hailed the ruling as “a victory for common sense”.
Police have fined Muslim women for wearing burkinis on beaches in towns including in the renowned Riviera resorts of Nice and Cannes.
Earlier this week, a woman was forced to remove a part of her clothing on a beach in Nice by armed police officers after a ban on the ‘burkini’ swimsuit was enforced, a series of photos that emerged online Wednesday showed.
Nice last week became the latest French seaside resort to ban the burkini, the body-concealing Islamic swimsuit that has sparked heated debate in secular France.
The photos showed French police officers confronting a woman resting on a beach at Nice’s Promenade des Anglais and asking her to remove what they consider to be a burkini.