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Sri Lanka Bans Face Coverings Following Easter Attacks, Alarming Muslim Leaders

HeadlineApr 29, 2019

Sri Lanka has banned face coverings in public, following the Easter Sunday attacks that left more than 250 people dead last week. The country’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, said he was using an emergency law to enact the ban Monday, citing public safety to outlaw “all forms of clothing that cover a person’s face and prevents them from being identified.” Muslim leaders are criticizing the move, which is thought to target the niqab and burka worn by some Muslim women. Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted, “No indication that recent Sri Lanka bombers covered their faces but President Sirisena bans face covering. That needless restriction means that Muslim women whose practice leads them to cover up now won’t be able to leave home.” This comes as 15 people, including six children, died Friday in a raid on a suspected hideout of militants connected to the attack. Three men set off explosives as troops attempted to raid the house, killing the children and three women.

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