France turns away three Saudi women over veils

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France has refused entry to three women from Saudi Arabia who declined to take off their veils for immigration officials, forcing them to get a return flight, an airport source said Tuesday.

The women arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha at 2:30 pm (1230 GMT) Monday but were denied entry into France after refusing to lift their full Muslim veils to show their faces to police carrying out border controls.

"They were issued a fine, according to the law" and returned to Doha that evening, the source said.

France has outraged many Muslims with its law against full veils, which came into force in April 2011 and bans covering one's face in public.

Violations are punishable by a fine of up to 150 euros ($190) or a citizenship training.

About 300 women were caught breaking the law in the first year it was in force, according to the interior ministry.

© 2012 AFP

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