New Oz burqa law makes lifting veil for women’s identification by police mandatory
Sydney – A new law has been reportedly introduced by the West Australian state parliament that would require Muslim women to remove their burqa or niqab to prove their identity to the state’s police.
The ruling has been drafted in response to the public outcry over the case of a Muslim mother-of-seven, Carnita Matthews, who had a conviction of knowingly making a false statement quashed.
According to news.com.au, Matthews was originally given a six-month jail sentence after being found guilty of falsely accusing a senior constable of forcibly trying to remove her burqa when she was pulled over while driving in Woodbine in Sydney’s southwest in June 2010 but later acquitted after prosecution faced to prove she was the woman who signed the statement.
As part of WA’s Criminal Investigation (Identifying People) Amendment Bill, the law will require ‘a person to remove headwear or do other things to facilitate the officer being able to confirm a person’s identity’.
The report said that officers will also get explicit powers to detain a person while they comply and the rule will apply to an item of clothing, hat, helmet, mask, sunglasses or ‘any other thing worn by a person that totally or partially covers the person’s head’.
Attorney-General Michael Mischin said that the government has taken action to ensure that injustices like in the Matthews case do not occur in Western Australia.