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27 Jun, 2019 16:04

French town shuts two public pools over burkini ban protest

French town shuts two public pools over burkini ban protest

Two public swimming pools in southeast France have been closed amid controversy over a burkini ban protest as temperatures continue to soar across the country.

A group of women wearing burkinis and activists from the Alliance Citoyenne rights group went to the Grenoble pools to protest a municipal ban on the Muslim swimwear on Sunday. 

The women demanded that they be allowed to swim while wearing the garments, arguing that the rule requiring men to wear swim briefs and women to wear bikinis or swimsuits is discriminatory, and calling for the regulations to be changed to accomodate burkini wearers. 

Lifeguards requested the pools be shut on Wednesday, Genoble City authorities said. “The lifeguards are there to ensure safety, and they can not do it when they have to worry about the crowd” generated by the burkini protests, the city hall said, Le Parisien reports. It said the lifeguards were victims of “intimidation campaigns inciting to violate the regulation” and said it was “working towards a positive solution.” 

Burkinis have been banned in a number of municipalities in France, even though a High Court ruling overturned a ban in the Riviera in 2016.

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