Images have emerged of French policemen making a woman remove her burkini on a beach on Tuesday, 23 August.
One photograph shows four policemen standing over the middle-aged woman, who was lying down on the Promenade Des Anglais beach in Nice, just a few yards away from the Bastille Day lorry attack scene. In another, the police seem to watch as she removes a blue garment and one of the policemen appears to take notes or give out an on-the-spot fine.
Officials in several French towns have implemented a ban on the burkini, which covers the body and head, saying they have concerns about religious clothing in the wake of multiple terror attacks in the country.
On Tuesday, in another similar incident, a mother-of-two in Cannes said she had been fined on the beach for wearing a tunic, leggings and a headscarf. In that case, the womans ticket seen by AFP news agency said she was not wearing an outfit respecting good morals and secularism.
The woman, a former air hostess from Toulouse, identified by only her first name Siam, said, I was sitting on a beach with my family. I was wearing a classic headscarf. I had no intention of swimming. She said her family have been citizens of France for three generations and added: Today we are not allowed on the beach. Tomorrow, the street? Tomorrow, well be forbidden from practicing our religion at all? m in the country of human rights. I see no trace of the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. I am outraged that this could happen in France.
A journalist from France 4 TV channel, Mathilde Cousin, who was a witness to the incidenton the Cannes beach, said: I saw three police officers watching the beach. One of them had his finger on the trigger of his tear gas device, no doubt containing pepper.
She added: The saddest thing was that people were shouting go home, some were applauding the police. Her daughter was crying.
Nice became one of 15 cities in France to ban the burkini. The city banned the garment saying it overtly manifests adherence to a religion at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks.
The decision to ban the full-body swimsuit in several French towns will come before the countrys highest administrative court on Thursday (25 August), after an appeal by a French NGO, Human Rights League. The organisation is challenging a decision by a lower court in Nice, which upheld the ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet.
The town located west of Nice, was one of the first to enforce the ban, leading to a fierce debate in France and other places about the garment, womens rights and secularism.
Moreover, the Nice Tribunal on Monday 22 August ruled that the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet was necessary, appropriate and proportionate. It added the garment was liable to offend the religious convictions or (religious) non-convictions of other users of the beach.