A Swiss woman, who has converted to Islam, and a French-Algerian businessman are facing fines after defying a new law in canton Ticino that bans face-covering headgear. The controversial law, voted in by referendum, came into force on Friday.

The duo chose the moment to publically oppose the ban in the city of Locarno. Nora Illi, a member of the radical Islamic Central Council Switzerland, walked about in the streets of Locarno wearing a full length Burka before being stopped by police officers.

She was arrested along with Rachid Nekkaz, who has also openly protested similar bans in Belgium and France. As a foreign national, Nekkaz was immediately hit with a CHF200 fine for incitement to break the law, plus CHF30 to cover costs. His eventual penalty may go up depending on the verdict of the local authorities.

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