Syrian woman banned from wearing headscarf in courtroom

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 19 July 2017| 24 Shawaal 1438

A German judge has banned a Syrian woman from wearing a headscarf in court during her divorce case proceedings against her husband.

The refugee’s lawyer, Najat Abokal, told the German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel that the judge in Germany’s eastern city of Luckenwalde sent a letter to her client stressing that “religiously motivated statements such as headscarves are not allowed in the courtroom and during a hearing,”

The judge’s letter also warned the Syrian woman of taking legal measures if she did not comply with this instruction during her case hearing. The lawyer also quoted the judge as saying that her client “would not attend the case hearing.”

Abokal considered the procedure to be unconstitutional, adding that she already appealed the judge’s decision.

Meanwhile, the director of the district court, Roswitha Neumaier, has announced the hearing postponement to 27 July over the objection.

Wearing religious symbols in civil service has been a source of controversy in Germany amid the neutrality act.

Several German states have banned public employees such as teachers, police, judges or prosecutors from wearing religious clothing and symbols while on duty. However, there is no law to prevent the German citizens from wearing headscarves or other religious symbols while they are in public institutions.

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2006 that the veiled women who are attending trial sessions could not be forced to leave the courtroom.

Source – MEMO