MPs from 47 countries have unanimously voted against a general ban on the wearing of the burka in public.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Europe’s human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, passed a resolution warning that if governments imposed such a ban they would be denying women “who genuinely and freely desire to do so” their right to cover their faces.
The resolution was part of a report on Islam, Islamism and Islamophobia, which also called on European governments to work to educate Muslim women, their families and communities on their human rights and to encourage them to take part in “public and professional life”.
It also called on Switzerland to repeal as soon as possible its general ban on the construction of minarets, which it described as discriminatory.
See also Swissinfo, 23 June 2010