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Burka ban for Muslims enforced in Switzerland

A new burka ban has been enforced in a Swiss canton, with two people already being fined for defying it.

A Swiss woman, who has converted to Islam, and a French-Algerian businessman publically opposed the ban in the city of Locarno in the canton of Tessin were both fined when the new rule came into effect last Friday.

Anyone caught wearing a veil in the canton, which is Italian speaking and predominently Roman Catholic, can reportedly be fined up to €9,200 (£7,890).

Nora Illi, a member of the Islamic Central Council Switzerland, purposefully defied the ban last Friday and was fined by police officers.

She was stopped alongside Rachid Nekkaz, a political activist. Mr Nekkaz was fined 200 Swiss francs (£160). Ms Illi faces a fine of between 100 and 10,000 Swiss francs (£80 – £8,000), Swiss Info reported.

More than 65 per cent of voters approved the ban in a referendum in the canton in 2013.

The Saudi Arabian embassy in Bern warned its citizens visiting Switzerland about the ban.

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