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Ban Muslim women from wearing veils in court, British cabinet member says

A cabinet minister in the British government is arguing that Muslim women should be banned from wearing veils while giving evidence in court, calling them an obstruction for judges and jurors.

“I can't see how on earth a judge and a jury can really appraise evidence when you're facing someone who is cloaked and is completely invisible to you,” Ken Clarke told BBC radio Sunday, according to Reuters. “It's almost impossible to have a proper trial if one of the persons is in a kind of bag.''

Clarke added that a “clear rule” is needed, as it is vital for people inside a court to observe a person’s body language and facial expressions to help determine whether or not they are telling the truth.

In September, Judge Peter Murphy in Britain ruled that a Muslim woman could not give evidence at her trial wearing a full-face veil, but said he hopes parliament or a high court addresses the issue “sooner rather than later,” Reuters reports.

In France and Belgium, it is illegal for women to wear full-face veils in public.