"A group of women in Cannes have become the first French Muslim women to be fined for wearing burkinis on the beach.
Ten women, aged 29 to 57, were in the Riviera resort of Cannes, some with their children, when police officers questioned them over their swimwear choice.
Four of the women were given a fine of €38 (£33) while all of them were given warnings and told to leave the area.
Muslim groups reacted to the fines, which came only days after the Mayor of Cannes imposed a ‘burkini ban’ at the end of last week, with shock.
Mayor David Lisnard said: ‘I took this decision among several other rulings to make sure my city is safe in the context of the state of emergency.’
His ruling was initially challenged but then upheld in court, with a judge saying the rule was legal under French law, ‘in the context of the state of emergency and recent Islamist attacks, notably in Nice a month ago’.
But opponents claim Mr Lisnard, who is a member of the right wing Republican Party, is stirring up Islamophobia.
A local council source in Cannes said the group of women were young mothers and grandmothers and that they did ‘not believe they are criminals’.
The sourced added: ‘All were very upset at the way they were treated.’
Another resort town near Cannes, Villeneuve-Loubet, also banned burkinis on beaches, implementing the new law that states only clothing that ‘is respectful to morality and secular principles, and in compliance with hygiene and safety rules’ is allowed.
The Mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, Lionnel Luca, claimed the ban on the garments was for sanitary reasons."
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