Ticino, Switzerland: Nora Illi and Rachid Nekkaz, prominent campaigners for the rights of Muslims, were fined after they walked in the streets of Locarno in full Islamic dress.
The controversial Swiss law prohibiting Islamic dress came into effect in Ticino on Friday and was voted in by referendum and outlaws face-covering headgear.
Illi and Nekkaz were stopped by police officers, soon after the rule was introduced. Nekkaz, a French-Algerian national, was fined £180 while Illi, who is from Zurich and converted to Islam when she was 19, will receive a penalty of up to £7,700.
Nekkaz had set up a million euro fund in 2011 to help women all over the world who chose to wear a veil or burqa where it is not allowed. The local government officials collected signatures calling for a nationwide ban on the burqa while Illi and Nekkaz were launching a protest.
The law began as a people’s initiative and received 65 per cent votes in Ticino in 2013. The local government approved it in November, after the Swiss Parliament ruled it did not contradict federal law.