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A Court on the French Island of Corsica Has Upheld the Burkini Ban to ‘Maintain Public Order’

Fethi Belaid—AFP/Getty Images A Tunisian woman wearing a burkini, a full-body swimsuit designed for Muslim women on Aug. 16, 2016, at a beach northeast of Tunis

The ban was imposed after a beach brawl in August

A local court in Corsica has ruled that a ban on the burkini, imposed by a resort town on the island, will stay, despite an earlier court ruling that the ban violated basic freedoms.

A judge said on Tuesday that the ban was legal because the garment could disrupt public order, the Guardian reports.

France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’État, ruled last month that such bans, imposed in some 30 towns across France, violated basic freedoms.

The ban in the Coriscan town of Sisco was imposed after a massive brawl on a beach in August, reportedly over a dispute involving a woman wearing a burkini. Some 200 people were involved in the clashes, in which four people, including a pregnant woman, were taken to the hospital. Bottles and sticks were hurled.

“The presence on a beach in Sisco of a woman wearing a swimming costume of the type targeted [by the ban] … could cause risks to public order which it is the town hall’s duty to prevent,” the Guardian cited the regional court as saying.

Tensions have risen recently in southern France, where there is a large population of Muslims of North African descent.

Religious divisions worsened after an attack on nearby Nice in July, when a Tunisian man drove a truck through a crowd on Bastille Day. Eighty-five people were killed in the attack, which has been claimed by ISIS.


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