NIQAB : On April 11
On the 2nd anniversary of the enactment of the Anti-Niqab law in France,
11 fines will be paid – first in Evry (91) at 9AM, overseen by France’s Minister of the Interior, and later in Paris 8th, at 11:30 AM.
Appeal to the CEDH court (European Commission on Human Rights) to be filed on June 6, 2013
On the 2nd anniversary of the Anti-Niqab law, Rachid Nekkaz, spokesman for the organization « Hands Off My Constitution » will pay 11 fines on behalf of women who were fined for wearing the full veil on the street: One fine will be paid at the Treasury of Evry (91), 28 desserte de la Butte Creuse, at 9 AM; the 10 other fines will be paid at the Treasury of Paris 8th, 5 rue de Londres, at 11:30 AM.
Rachid Nekkaz, married to an American woman of Catholic faith, is personally opposed to the use of the full veil (or Niqab). Mr. Nekkaz is not working towards the law’s abolition, but rather, towards an amendment of the law, making it lawful to wear the full veil in the streets, exclusively.
The aim of his actions, says Nekkaz, « is to call out to lawmakers and say that while they may have the power to impose an unjust anti-Niqab law, an independent organization such as ours can easily neutralize it by paying all the resulting fines ».
Rachid Nekkaz does not want European governments to use the fear of Islam in order to curtail individual personal liberties in public spaces.
To this date, 621 fines have been paid by Rachid Nekkaz, since the passing of the law in October 2011. Private expenditures for the Niqab law-related activities are approaching 100 000 € so far (covering fines and legal costs).
Some numbers on the women fined for wearing the full veil :
98% are of French nationality;
41% are French caucasian, converted to Islam;
72% are single or divorced;
94% live from the « RSA » (government’s minimum revenue allocation), or income from other social programs;
67 women are new wearers of the full veil since the law was passed
26 are minors (between 13 et 17 years old)
To this date there have been 1073 arrests/interrogation sessions held at police stations. 621 fines were paid, and another 48 fines were later revoked by Nekkaz’s organization and replaced by a civil-service internship (none of which have been fulfilled).
In spite of the 1073 interogatories at police commissionners offices, not one single male (husband, brother or father) has been pointed to as a result. Numbers and verbal reports show that women in France who wear the Niqab do so by their own free will.
Also, « an ironic coïncidence: on that same day, April 11th , I am summoned to report to the TGI (court of Paris) for « rebellion ». I’ll be there. » states Nekkaz.
« Here are a few facts: », continues Nekkaz, « after a press conference held at the Bristol hotel of Paris on May 11th 2011, I look down the street and practically accross from the Elysée (Presidential) Palace, I see a fully veiled person being shown into a Police van for an ID check. I went to support her and to make sure she was well treated. Five policemen came up to me; my approach was interpreted as an act of rebellion. The Commissioner ended up pressing charges against me. »
« Dragging their feet »
The law enaction was to be followed by a status report by Parliament, summarizing the first 18 months after its application. The report should logically have been submitted by October 11, 2012. However, to this date, no published information exists. Nekkaz believes that « Parliament are dragging their feet in terms of reporting, as, contrary to the intention of the law, there has been an actual increase in the numbers of women who wear the full veil in France since June of 2011! « . He adds: « I believe those numbers are a consequence of the communications campaign, as well as the payment of fines, performed by « Hands Off my Constitution ».
Appeal to the European Court on Human Rights (CEDH) on June 3, 2013.
An appeal will be filed with the European Human Rights Commission (CEDH) at the earliest legally possible date, which is June 6, 2013. The case is being submitted with the help of the Belgian Law Offices of Maître Inès WOUTERS. A complaint will be filed for « violation of the fundamental right to exist and move freely in public spaces ». The aim is to introduce an amendment to the law, specifying that women are allowed to dress as they like in the streets of Europe. « The street, » states Nekkaz, « is a precious, universal, landmark of Freedom, in all free democracies ».
The filing of the complaint, as the request for the law’s amendment to the CEDH, are possible only now that all allowable recourses have been attempted and denied. The Belgian Constitutional Court vetoed all motions to date on December 6, 2013. More information on www.nekkaz.com).
Tel : 06 60 41 90 59
Web : www.nekkaz.com