A Muslim woman was forced to remove her veil as a new law banning niqabs came into force in Austria.
The woman was pictured wearing a niqab – which covers most of the face except the eyes – in the town of Zell am See on Sunday.
However, it wasn’t long before she was approached by armed police who ordered her to remove it.
Items covering the face have been banned in public places, with some exceptions – namely ‘cultural events’, or for doctors who need to wear medical masks during procedures.
Anyone violating the law could now be hit with a €150 fine.
Muslim groups have condemned the law saying only tiny minority of women in the country wear full-face veils.
Carla Amina Bhagajati of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria said the “handful” of fully veiled women she knows of in Vienna “now are criminalised” and “restricted to their homes”.
The legislation was brought in by the outgoing centrist government of Chancellor Christian Kern.
Elections on October 15 are expected to see the anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPOe) come second or third and potentially enter a coalition with Sebastian Kurz of the centre-right.