As France's highest administrative court is set to review a request to overturn a ban on the burkini full-body swimsuit, which is worn by some devout Muslim women, it has emerged that the majority of French people are against the burkini being worn on beaches, according to a survey.

The Human Rights League is appealing against a ruling by a lower court, which upheld a ban on the swimsuit imposed on beaches in the Riviera town of Villeneuve-Loubet, west of Nice.

More than 30 French towns have followed Villeneuve-Loubet in imposing a ban, sparking debate on the right to freedom of religion, women's rights and the integration of France's Muslim community.

However, a new survey published on 25 August revealed that two thirds of French people (64%) are against the wearing of full-body swimsuits known as burkinis.

The survey conducted by Ifop for French newspaper Le Figaro found that, while 30% of those interviewed said they were "indifferent", only 6% of those surveyed said they were in favour of the Islamic swimsuit.

Tunisian women – one wearing a burkini, a full-body swimsuit designed for Muslim women – at Ghar El Melh beach near Bizerte, northeast of the capital Tunis, Tunisa on 16 August 2016 Fethi Belaid/AFP

The survey, which did not directly ask the public if they were in favour of the ban, was carried out on a representative sample of 1,001 French people between 22 and 24 August 2016.

Ipsos pollsters' analyst Jérôme Fourquet said that these figures mirrored a survey conducted in April last year, in which 63% of people surveyed said they were opposed to the wearing of the headscarf or the veil.

The #BurkiniGate hashtag started trending after photographs emerged on 23 August showing French policemen armed with batons and pepper spray confronting a veiled middle-aged woman on a beach in Nice and ordering her to strip off as part of a controversial ban on the burkini.

The images caused an uproar in the country, with commentators from all religious backgrounds denouncing the police action as a "violation of human rights".