25 August 2015

AP Interview: Latvian president supports banning burqa

Latvia's president says he would support a ban on face-covering Islamic veils as the Baltic country readies to receive 250 refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

Raimonds Vejonis told the AP in an interview Tuesday that it's up to Latvian lawmakers to decide whether to outlaw the burqa, as some have proposed, but that he personally favors a ban.

Vejonis, a former defense minister who took office in July, said there's a "security component" to the issue and even linked it to fears of terrorism.

"We haven't any terrorism in our region," he said. "I don't want to somehow escalate the situation and raise the possible threat level in our region. It is my personal opinion on why I support the ban on the burqa." [Associated Press] Read more