Egypt court: Ban on full veils violated women's rights

The Minister of Higher Education Hany Helal imposed the ban in October.

Egypt court: Ban on full veils violated women's rights

Egypt's High Administrative Court overturned on Wednesday a ban on female students wearing the niqab, or full face veil, in university examinations, saying it violated women's constitutional rights.

The Minister of Higher Education Hany Helal imposed the ban in October.

55 students appealed against the ban. A Cairo court had ruled earlier this month in favour of the ban.

"Freedom to wear the niqab is guaranteed by human rights and constitutional liberties, and a girl's right to dress the way she sees fit in accordance with her beliefs and her social environment is a firm right that cannot be violated," Wednesday's court ruling said.

It is the highest court to have ruled on the issue so far.

"The niqab cannot be used to oppress women," the court said, adding that university campuses should be places of intellectualism and freedom.

However, it said a student wearing the niqab must show her face when asked to for security reasons.

Mid-year examinations have been underway since the beginning of the month, and a number of students at a Cairo university wore surgical masks to get round the ban.


Reuters

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2010, 14:45
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