This week, the UN Human Rights Committee accused France of discriminating against Naima Mezhoud by banning her from attending a course at a public school while wearing a hijab, an Islamic headscarf that covers her hair. The case took place in 2010.
At the time, 35, Mezhoud, who is French, was enrolled in a management assistant course offered by an institution near Paris where teenagers are prohibited by law from wearing the hijab. When she arrived, the school principal prevented her from entering the premises.
In an official document, the Committee alleges that the attitude violated articles 18 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. “The freedom to manifest religion covers the use of distinctive clothes or hats and therefore considers that the prohibition imposed on the author constitutes a restriction on the exercise of her right to freedom of religious expression”, declares the text.