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Kazakhstan will ban wearing of burqa and niqab in public places

The bill provides for 53 amendments and additions to 12 legislative acts.

The innovations of the bill will limit the acquisition of religious education abroad, prohibit the wearing of burqa and niqab in public places, and also expand the functions of police officers to check religious associations.

Legislation for the first time introduces a legal definition of such concepts as “destructive religious movement” and “religious radicalism”.

At the same time, the bill provides for equal rights of citizens regardless of their attitude to religion, both believers and non-believers. An amendment is being made to legal regulation of the receipt by citizens of Kazakhstan of religious education abroad, as well as the conditions for bringing minors to participate in divine services, religious rites, ceremonies and or meetings. Basic regulation of the behavior of civil servants and employees of budgetary organizations in the religious sphere is proposed. transparency of the financial activities of religious associations.

Representatives of state bodies, leaders of religious faiths represented in Kazakhstan, political parties, public organizations, experts took part in the presentation.

Another tightening was the law on the fining of parents of schoolgirls wearing handkerchiefs. According to the department for control in the sphere of education in the Aktyubinsk region, since January 19, fines have been imposed on 13 parents whose daughters do not attend classes. A fine of over 12 thousand tenge was issued to the parents of two girls living in the village of Aliya of Khobdinsky district, the head of the district education department Nurlybai Aizharykov said.

According to the information of the regional department for religious affairs, currently at least 103 schoolgirls can not attend classes due to “requirements to the school uniform”.

The order, signed by the Minister in February 2016, prohibiting the inclusion in the school uniform of “clothing elements of religious affiliation of various faiths”, in this academic year caused controversy around wearing Muslim headscarves in schools. In December, the court in Astana rejected the claims of dozens of parents demanding the cancellation of this order.

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