The highest administrative court in France on Friday temporarily suspended the ban on burkinis pending a final ruling on the matter, Reuters reported. The Conseil d’Etat’s ruling came after the League of Human Rights asked the court to overturn the ban issued in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet.
The court said that the ban “seriously, and clearly illegally” breached several fundamental freedoms, including “the freedom of beliefs and individual freedom”. The ban, issued by a mayoral decree, does not specifically mention the word ‘burkini’, instead disallowing “beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation”, according to The Guardian. It was issued at least a month after 84 people were killed in an attack in the town of Nice.
The ban, which have spread to more than a dozen coastal towns in the European country, have prompted a debate on secularism, with some accusing politicians of using the issue for gains during the upcoming presidential elections in 2017. A lower court on Monday had upheld the ban, saying it would prevent public disorder. France’s legal system says that temporary decisions in cases can be ordered before the court prepares a judgment on the matter.