Latvia is planning to introduce a ban on wearing face-covering clothes in public places, Latvian Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs said on Monday.
© Reuters/Scanpix

"Such a ban will be introduced. The respective draft decision has been already worked out," the minister told the local LNT television.

He suggested that the law was targeted specifically at Muslims wearing traditional clothing, the burqa.

"This ban is needed not to ensure public order and security, but to protect Latvia's cultural values, our common public and cultural space, and each individual," Rasnacs said.

He said that two versions of the law had been considered.

"The first was to ban wearing face-covering clothes only in certain places, including state institutions or educational institutions. The second was to ban wearing burqa in all public places. The second concept was finally approved," he said.

The ban is yet to be approved by the Latvian government, Rasnacs said.

Latvia has agreed to resettle 531 refugees from the Middle East and Africa over the next two years.

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