BRUSSELS, June 5 (Reuters) - Belgian right-wingers have
offered to pay a 250 euros ($310) bounty to anyone who reports a
veiled woman to police, they said on Tuesday, in the wake of
face veil riots in Brussels.
Filip Dewinter, a senior figure within Vlaams Belang, a
right-wing party, told Reuters the riots had made police
apprehensive about enforcing the burqa ban and that the payment
should put pressure on authorities to further enforce it.
"It's a textile prison for the women who have to live under
it," he said.
It comes after protesters hurled bins and metal barriers at
a Brussels police station last week after a Muslim woman was
arrested for refusing to remove her face veil, or niqab.
A Brussels police spokesman said he was unaware of the money
being offered, but said any officer who sees a woman wearing a
niqab would issue a penalty.
"When someone is breaking the law we always have to
intervene, demonstrations or no, the niqab is prohibited," he
Women in Belgium risk a maximum fine of 150 euros if they
wear a full face veil in public. Belgium and France both banned
the wearing of full veils in public last year.
Dewinter said he was not aware how many people had already
responded to the offer of a bounty.
A spokeswoman for Belgium's federal police said the legality
of the bounty was a question for the judiciary, but if someone
felt insulted by it they could file a complaint with the police.
Police in Belgium are investigating last week's riots and
arrested 13 members of the Islamist group Sharia4Belgium on
Sunday, the police spokesman said.
Sharia4Belgium was not immediately available to comment.
($1 = 0.8003 euros)
(Reporting by Ben Deighton and Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by