Belgium: Appeals court upholds school headscarf ban

Court overturns ruling which said European countries must allow all citizens free practice of religion

Serife Cetin   | 24.12.2019
Belgium: Appeals court upholds school headscarf ban


Overturning a previous ruling, Belgian appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ban on wearing headscarves in two schools in the country’s Flemish region.   

In 2018, the parents of 11 students filed a case against the ban in the northeastern Maasmechelen municipality and won the case.

This August, a court in Tongeren also ruled that the girls, attending the Atheneum Maasland (now GO! Maxwell) and Nikola Tesla schools, were allowed to wear headscarves as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) obliges European countries to allow all citizens free practice of religion.

But today’s ruling by the Antwerp appeals court ruled that the headscarf ban was justified.

The school which the students challenged in court is affiliated to a public body called GO! Education of Flemish Community. The body decided in 2013 to ban headscarves in all public schools affiliated to it in Belgium’s Flemish region.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak

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