국제앰네스티는 스페인 카탈로니아(Catalonia) 지방 입법자들에게 공공 건물 및 장소에서 전체 얼굴을 가리는 베일 착용을 금지하는 법안에 반대할 것을 요청했다.
국제앰네스티 존 달후이센(John Dalhuisen) 유럽지역 차별정책 전문가는 “그 어떠한 종류의 광범위한 금지도 자신의 정체성과 믿음을 표현하고자 베일을 착용하는 여성들의 표현 및 종교의 자유를 침해한다”며 “여성들은 무엇을 착용할지에 대한 자유가 있어야 한다. 이는 국제인권법에 포함된 그들의 권리이다. 논란의 여지가 있는 의상이라 할지라도 베일을 착용하기 원하는 극소수의 무슬림 여성은 다른 사람들처럼 존중 받아야 한다”고 말했다.
올해 4월 벨기에에서 베일 착용 금지법이 통과되고 프랑스 의회에서도 7월에 관련 금지법안을 검토할 예정인 가운데, 스페인은 베일 착용 금지법안을 검토하는 세 번째 유럽국가가 됐다.
본 법안을 지지하는 스페인인들은 이 법안은 차별을 타파하고 남녀평등을 지키는 데에 필수적이라고 주장하고 있다.
달후이센 전문가는 “차별의 타파를 위해 차별을 이용할 수 없으며, 여성이 무엇을 착용할 지를 규정함으로써 남녀평등이 이루어지지는 않는다”며 “진정한 남녀평등은 여성에게 선택권을 부여하고 이러한 선택들이 제대로 이행될 수 있도록 돕는 것이다”라고 말했다.
Spanish politicians urged to reject bans on full-face veils
29 June 2010
Amnesty International has called on law-makers in the Spanish region of Catalonia not to adopt a motion on Wednesday in favour of banning women from wearing the full-face veil in public buildings and spaces.
“Any wide-ranging ban will violate the rights to freedom of expression and religion of those women who choose to wear a full-face veil as an expression of their identity or beliefs,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination in Europe.
“Women should be free to choose what and what not to wear. This is their right under international human rights law. This right extends to forms of dress that others may find objectionable and it should be respected – for the very small minority of Muslim women who do choose to wear full face veils, just as for everybody else.”
With Lawmakers in Belgium having approved a ban on the wearing of the full-face veil in public in April this year and the French Parliament due to consider a similar ban in July, Spain has become the third European country this year to consider the introduction of restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils
Last week, the Senate approved a motion urging the government to prohibit the wearing of full face veils “in public spaces and at public gatherings”.
Nine Spanish municipalities have already moved to ban the wearing of full-face veils in municipal buildings. The Mayor of Barcelona has declared his intention to push through legislation banning full-face veils from all municipal buildings, including offices, public markets, libraries and museums, later this year.
Many of those in favour of such bans in Spain have argued that they are necessary to combat discrimination and safeguard gender equality.
“Discrimination cannot be combated by discrimination and gender equality is not advanced by dictating what women can or cannot wear. It is advanced by ensuring that women are empowered to make their own choices and are effectively able to act on them,” said John Dalhuisen.
In recent years the Spanish government has put the promotion of gender equality high on the political agenda.
However, Amnesty International has called for greater efforts to combat the discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices affecting Muslim women, both within their communities and in society at large.
“States do have an obligation to protect women against pressure or coercion to wear full-face veils but comprehensive bans are not the way to do this. They may even be counter-productive as women who are currently being coerced into wearing full face veils risk being confined to their homes, less able to work or study and to access the assistance and protection they need,” John Dalhuisen said.
“The Spanish authorities should be seeking to ensure that recent initiatives to combat violence against women are also reaching Muslim women.”
Under international human rights law, restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and religion may only be imposed where necessary for the preservation of public order, security or morals or the protection of the rights of others.
Amnesty International does not believe that wide-ranging bans on the wearing of full-face veils have been shown to be necessary or proportionate to achieve any of these goals and that considerations of security or public safety would justify banning the wearing of full-face veils anywhere in public, or in all public buildings.
“Legitimate security concerns can be met by targeted restrictions on the complete covering of the face in well-defined high risk locations. Individuals may also be required to reveal their faces when objectively necessary, for instance for identity checks,” said John Dalhuisen.
Last week, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly adopted a recommendation calling on states “not to establish a general ban of the full veiling or other religious or special clothing, but to protect women from all physical and psychological duress as well as their free choice to wear religious or special clothing and ensure equal opportunities for Muslim women to participate in public life and pursue education and professional activities.”