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Freedom of speech and the burqa
by Erich Kolig
This newspaper carried a front page news article (24.10.13) about a verbal assault by a Dutch immigrant on a young female student for wearing a burqa (a full body cover and facial veil) as some Muslim women prefer to do.
For this unprovoked verbal attack the offender was subsequently punished by a fine imposed by a justice of the peace.
This was followed a couple of days later (ODT, 26.10.13) by the reported opinion of two law professors, Rex Ahdar and Andrew Geddis of the University of Otago, that the imposition of a fine was inappropriate: the Dutch woman had only exercised her right to free speech.
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