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SDMK of Kyrgyzstan comments on deputy’s proposal to fine for niqab

Mufti of Kyrgyzstan Zamir Rakiev commented on the initiative of deputy Sharapatkan Mazhitova to ban a voluminous beard and clothing that covers the face.

The head of the Spiritual Directorate of the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan (SDMK) said in an interview with Azattyk: «We supported the hijab from the very beginning. And what covers the entire face is called niqab.»

We, at the Ulema Council, have come to the conclusion that the niqab is right of everyone, but not an obligation, and that we cannot limit anyone’s rights.

Mufti of Kyrgyzstan Zamir Rakiev

Member of Parliament Sharapatkan Mazhitova proposes to ban wearing of clothing that covers the face and a voluminous beard in Kyrgyzstan. She proposes introducing fines for violation of the ban. The draft law has been submitted for public discussion.

She proposed introducing a fine of 2,000 soms (20 calculated rates) for this, or engaging in community service for up to 30 hours. A repeated offense will entail a fine of 4,000 soms or community service for up to 40 hours.

«The proposal is related to legislative changes aimed at regulating the clothing and appearance of citizens in public places in order to ensure the possibility of identification. It is important to note that such laws must respect basic human rights principles, including the right to privacy and personal freedom,» the document says.