The French ban on the burkini is threatening to turn into a farce as police officers armed with pepper spray and batons marched onto a beach today and ordered a woman to strip off.
Four burly cops stood over the middle-aged woman, who had been quietly sunbathing on the Promenade des Anglais beach in Nice – yards from the scene of the Bastille Day lorry attack – and watched her take off a Muslim-style garment which protected her modesty.
It is thought the woman was given a warning about the dress code on the beach and was handed an on-the-spot fine.
Four French police officers close in on the woman, who appears to be sleeping, on the Promenade des Anglais beach in Nice, southern France
The woman, who was wearing a traditional headscarf and matching top, was spoken to by the officers, who have been tasked with implementing the ban. France prides itself on its secular society and the burka is banned. That has now spread to the burkini
A police officer appears to write out an on-the-spot ticket and fine for the woman. Nice and Cannes are among several French towns to have introduced a 38 euro (£32) fine
The woman is then ordered to remove the blue garment. Most of the other people on the beach on a sweltering summer’s day were wearing trunks or bikinis
Another young Muslim mother was ordered off the beach at Cannes and fined for simply wearing a headscarf.
Three armed officers pointed a pepper spray canister in the 34-year-old’s face and told her she was in breach of a new rule outlawing swimming costumes that cover the entire body.
She said the ‘racist’ officers simply wanted to humiliate her in front of her children and other family members, even though she was not even wearing a burkini.
It was the latest in a series of incidents in the south of France and comes after video emerged of armed police waiting for Muslim women to come out of the sea at nearby Nice, and then warning them about their choice of headscarves.
And just days ago, four women were fined 38 euros for wearing their burkinis on the beach in Cannes.