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France court suspends burkini ban

France’s highest administrative court on Friday suspended a ban on full-body burkini swimsuits, that has outraged Muslims and opened divisions within the government, pending a definitive ruling.

The Conseil d’Etat gave the ruling, following a request from the League of Human Rights to overturn the burkini ban in the Mediterranean town of Villeneuve-Loubet on the grounds it contravenes civil liberties, The Mirror reported. The ruling could set a precedent for 30 other towns that imposed similar bans.

The court will make a final decision on the legality of the bans later. Amnesty International welcomed the court’s decision. The human rights group’s Europe director, John Dalhuisen, said it had “drawn a line in the sand”. “French authorities must now drop the pretence that these measures do anything to protect the rights of women. These bans do nothing to increase public safety but do a lot to promote public humiliation,” Dalhuisen added.

Opinions polls suggested most French people backed the bans.
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