Australia may use fingerprinting for burka-wearing women

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Australia’s Muslim burka-wearing women might be subjected to fingerprinting in order to identify them.

According to a new proposal, anyone who won’t show their face may have to provide a fingerprint ID on statutory declarations and legal statements. The issue arose when a magistrate dismissed an appeal against a woman wearing a full burka in his courtroom, because he wasn’t satisfied “beyond reasonable doubt” that she was the accused.

Carnita Matthews, 47, of New South Wales, had been sentenced to six months’ in jail for falsely claiming a traffic officer had tried to lift her burka veil. But her lawyer appealed on the grounds that no-one could be sure of the veiled woman’s identity.