Man hits Belgian cop controlling his veiled wife

28th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A man struck a policeman in Brussels after the officer asked for the identity papers of his wife, who was wearing a full Islamic veil banned in Belgium, police said Wednesday.

Police said the man, 37, was detained for injuring the officer and his wife would be issued a fine for wearing the veil, according to Belga news agency.

The incident took place on Tuesday in an immigrant neighbourhood of the capital, two months after a ban on wearing clothes that hide the face, such as the burqa or niqab, came into force.

When police officers asked for his wife's papers, the man became angry, hit one of them and told his wife to go home, a police spokeswoman said.

The man then issued death threats against the officers if they tried to approach his wife again, police said.

Belgium became the second European country after France to ban full veils on July 23. Other nations are considering similar legislation, including Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands.

People who ignore the new Belgian law face a fine of 137.50 euros and up to seven days behind bars. Two women who wear full veils have asked the constitutional court to overturn the law.

Fewer than 300 women are believed to wear the burqa or niqab in Belgium.

© 2011 AFP

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