Belgium fined after refusing a woman with a headscarf

Belgium fined after refusing a woman with a headscarf

World September 18, 2018 12:00

strasbourg - Belgium must pay 1000 euro compensation to a woman after her access was refused to a lawsuit because she wore a headscarf (hijab). The Court of Human Rights ruled that this violates the freedom of religion.

Hagar Lachiri wanted to attend a session in 2007 to claim compensation in a criminal case involving the death of her brother. The court chairman told her that she could not be there unless she would take off her headscarf. She refused. Her objections to this were also rejected in subsequent proceedings.

The woman was not disrespectful and it was unlikely that she would disturb the session, according to the judges. A courtroom is a public place where religions must be treated in a neutral way, they recall. This can be oanders in, for example, education or work.

The judgment on Lachiri's right to confess her faith is not justified in a democratic society in this case.

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