Radical Islamist units in Syria are sidelining more moderate groups that do not share the Islamists' goal of establishing a supreme religious leadership in the country. Special Report
Europe court says no to turban on Sikh's driving licence
STRASBOURG, France |
STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday dismissed a case brought by a French Sikh man who wanted to wear a turban on his driving licence photograph in breach of French rules.
Shingara Mann Singh, 52, a French national, lost a series of appeals in France against the refusal by authorities to issue a new licence with a photograph of him wearing a turban, before taking his case to the Strasbourg-based court.
Under French regulations, motorists must appear "bareheaded and facing forward" in their licence photographs. The Sikh religion requires men to wear a turban at all times.
"The Court noted that identity photographs for use on driving licences which showed the subject bareheaded were needed by the authorities in charge of public safety," it said.
In a statement, it recognised that the rule on photographs "amounted to interference with the exercise of the right to freedom of religion", but judged that this was justified.
Freedom of religion "did not always guarantee the right to behave in a manner governed by a religious belief and did not confer on people who did so the right to disregard rules that had proved to be justified," the court said.
Mann Singh had complained to the court that the French regulations made no provision for separate treatment for members of the Sikh community. The court noted that Muslim women had to remove their headscarves for some identification purposes.
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