Spanish court overturns veil ban

A Spanish court has overturned a city’s ban on wearing face-covering Islamic veils in municipal buildings, saying it infringes religious liberties.

In 2010, Lleida, in the northeastern region of Catalonia, became the first town in Spain to impose such a ban. It was temporarily suspended by a regional court following an appeal by a Muslim association but then later upheld.

Spain’s Supreme Court on Thursday accepted a second appeal and said the city was not entitled to order such a ban. It said that in line with Spanish and European rulings, such a prohibition must be based on a law, which does not exist in Spain at present.

The Lleida ban was largely symbolic since only about 3 percent of its population is Muslim and very few wear such garments.

Associated Press, 28 February 2013