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Apr 12, 2011 at 01:52pm IST

Burqa ban protests in France, 2 women arrested

London: Two Muslim women were arrested in Paris Monday for wearing face veils or burqa as France moves to enforce a ban on full face coverings, a media report said.

Kenza Drider, 32, travelled to Paris from her home in Provence to force a confrontation with police, and was one of those arrested, The Telegraph reported.

There were minor scuffles as officers apprehended her outside Notre Dame Cathedral together with another niqab-wearer staging an illegal demonstration against the new law.

Burqa ban protests in France, 2 women arrested

The women were detained for taking part in an unauthorised protest against the burqa ban.

The women could now face fines of 150 euros, or 132 pounds, as well as citizenship lessons, the daily said on its website.

But Alexis Marsan, a public order official, said they were given warnings for taking part in an illegal gathering.

Five men and another women were also held for taking part in the demonstration.

After her brief detention, Drider said she hoped she would eventually be prosecuted so that she could take her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

"This measure is illegal - it is solely designed to oppress women in my position," she said.

Police admitted they were enforcing the ban "extremely cautiously" because of fears of provoking violence.

Police have already been warned not to arrest women in or around mosques, and "citizen's de-veilings" are also banned.

The strict instructions, from Interior Minister Claude Guent, are contained in a nine page circular issued to officers, according to the newspaper.

Al Qaeda terrorist group has issued warnings that it would attack the country following the introduction of the ban.

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