Six women have been fined since a so-called burka ban went into effect in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino last summer.

Ticino's security authorities released the figures on Monday, noting that in another ten instances, the police had merely issued warnings. Many cases involved foreign visitors who were unaware of the law and who readily removed their veils.

The ban prohibits people from wearing clothing that covers the face in public. In 2013, local voters accepted an initiative calling for a ban on such clothing, typically worn by Muslim women. On the first day of the ban, a Swiss woman who had converted to Islam staged a protest in Locarno. Wearing a blue niqab – which covers everything but the eyes – she was the first person to be fined.

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