German lawmakers approve package of security measures, partially ban burqa
The ban on full covering of the faces will not be implemented on health workers who are working to protect themselves against infectious diseases.
The lawmakers of Germany on 27 April 2017 approved a package of security measures that aims at preventing extremist attacks. In this regard the lawmakers also partially banned the full-face burqa, the Islamic veil.
The new law on facial coverings falls short of a total ban in public places demanded by right-wing parties, like that in effect in neighbouring France since 2011.
Key facts of the new laws
· The prohibition will apply to public servants -- including election officials, military and judicial staff -- performing their duties.
· People will also be required to remove facial coverings in order to match them with their identity papers.
· It talks about the use of electronic ankle bracelets, if approved by a judge, for people deemed a security threat, in federal police cases – like known Islamic radicals considered potentially violent by security services.
Under another new measure, Germany will implement EU rules on the exchange of flight passenger data to counter terrorism and serious crime. And physical attacks on police, emergency services and military personnel on duty will in future be punished more severely, with up to five years' jail.
Why the new laws came into existence?
The new laws follow several jihadist attacks, including a truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market that claimed 12 lives, and come ahead of September elections. The incident that occurred on 19 December 2017 was claimed by the Islamic State group.