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European court upholds mandatory swimming lessons for Muslim girls
The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a decision by Swiss authorities to fine a Muslim couple who refused to allow their daughters to attend mandatory swimming classes during school hours.
On Tuesday, the Strasbourg-based court ruled that the fine imposed by the authorities of canton Basel City did not violate the girls' freedom of conscience and religion. However, the parents have three months to request a re-examination of the case, something that the court is not obliged to grant them.
In 2010, the parents - Swiss nationals of Turkish origin - were fined CHF1,400 ($1,382) in the first move of its kind after they withdrew their daughters aged seven and nine from the school swimming lessons. They also lost their appeal at a cantonal administrative court a year later.
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