Demonstrators must show their faces, France rules

21st June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Demonstrators in France risk a heavy fine if they cover their faces, under a decree published Saturday in the official government gazette

Paris - Demonstrators in France risk a heavy fine if they cover their faces, under a decree published Saturday in the official government gazette.

The decree signed by Prime Minister Francois Fillon follows violent protests in the eastern city of Strasbourg in April led by masked demonstrators of the so-called Black Block against a summit conference of the NATO alliance.

Anyone who hides their face at a demonstration in order to conceal their identity in circumstances threatening public order will be liable to a fine of EUR 1,500 (USD 2,100), which will be doubled in case of a second offence within a year.

A bill comes before the French parliament next week to crack down on gangs, whose members will face greater punishment if they are masked.

AFP / Expatica

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