Rights group says ban on face-veil risks stigmatizing Muslim women

Concerns have been raised over the ban on the face-veil in Sri Lanka saying it risks stigmatizing Muslim women.

The amended emergency regulations came into force on 29 April 2019, in the wake of the Easter Sunday massacre that claimed the lives of more than 250 people in attacks on three churches and three hotels.

Since the attacks, Sri Lanka’s small Muslim community has been braced for a backlash while refugees from Muslim backgrounds or Muslim-majority countries have been attacked by hardline mobs.

Responding to Sri Lanka’s emergency regulations imposing a ban on clothing that conceals the face, Amnesty International’s Deputy South Asia Director, Dinushika Dissanayake, said that at a time when many Muslims in Sri Lanka fear a backlash, imposing a ban that effectively targets women wearing a face veil for religious reasons risks stigmatizing them.

“They will be forced out of public spaces to stay at home and will be unable to work, study or access basic services. The ban violates their rights to non-discrimination, freedom of expression and religion,” she said.

Dissanayake said that where there are legitimate security concerns, the authorities can carry out identity checks when objectively necessary.

“It is important that the state provides measures that comply with human rights. Women have a right to choose how they dress, whatever their beliefs,” she said.

Dissanayake said that forcing women to take off the face-veil is coercive and humiliating. (Colombo Gazette)

5 COMMENTS

  1. Dinushika, how wise you are!! BTW, no one of yours died or handicapped in Easter attack, right?

  2. We all know who is hiding behind the human rights groups. If Muslims don’t like the Sri Lankan laws they are free to move to the other parts of the world. They have betrayed the country, therefore they should not expect any favour. They must accept the local laws and get on with it or they must leave the country, simple as that.

  3. HI, don’t try to fish in waters, National Security take president over Human Rights. Muslim Leaders have noot objected to banning of face- veil

  4. We called this බොර දියේ මාළු බානවා. See this article; Sri Lanka attacks: Where else in the world have face coverings been banned? BBC Reality Check. 30 April 2019.

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