The French city of Nice has lifted the ban on the burkini after the country's highest administrative court ruled that the move "illegally breached fundamental freedoms". The ruling over the full body swimsuit, mostly worn by Muslim women, was passed on Thursday (1 September) and the court concluded that there were "no risks of disruption to public order".
Judges ruled that the terror attack in Nice on 14 July provided insufficient grounds to justify the ban. The court said: "In the absence of such risks, the emotions and the concerns resulting from terrorist attacks, and especially from the attack on July 14, are insufficient grounds to legally justify the contested ban."
The court also said that the garment did not put at risk "hygiene, decency or safety when swimming". The decision suspends the ban imposed in about 30 towns, especially in south-east of France.
The controversy surrounding the ban attracted outrage when pictures emerged of a woman being forced by police in Nice to remove her long sleeved top. However, the police denied that the woman as forced to remove her top. They said that she was showing the police her swimsuit she had worn under her top, over leggings. According to the Guardian, at least 30 fines were issued since the ban was introduced.
In late August, the UN Human Rights Office had said the ban amounted to "a grave and illegal breach of fundamental freedoms" and a "stupid reaction" to the recent terror attacks. The ban on the garment has also been lifted in Villeneuve Loubet, Cannes, Roquebrune and Frejus.