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French official threatens to sue over burkini ban photos

The images sparked an outcry on social media [Twitter]

Date of publication: 25 August, 2016

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A French official has threatened to sue social media users who share images of police enforcing the country's controversial burkini ban.

A French official has threatened to sue social media users who share photos and videos of police enforcing the controversial burkini ban, after pictures of police forcing a Muslim woman to take her top off on a Nice beach went viral.

Christian Estrosi, president of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, which includes the cities of Nice, Toloun and Cannes, issued a statement saying "complaints were filed to prosecute those who spread the photographs of our municipal police officers and those uttering threats against them on social networks."

The photo sequence in question shows a Muslim woman sleeping on the beach moments before being approached by four police officers.

The woman was then forced to take off her tunic and fined while being surrounded by the four officers. She was wearing a sleeveless shirt underneath

The images sparked an outcry after being widely shared on social media.

France's highest administrative court, the State Council, will on Thursday examine a request by the Human Rights League [LDH] to scrap the burkini bans adopted by some 15 towns and cities across the country.

Lower courts have supported the decision by French mayors, with a tribunal in the Riviera city of Nice – where a crowd was mowed down in July in a grisly truck attack – said the burkini could "be felt as a defiance or a provocation exacerbating tensions felt by" the community.

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