Three women wearing head scarves completely shielding their faces were denied entry to a Gothenburg courtroom on Friday during the remand hearing of one of the suspects in the Röda Sten murder plot case.
“I am responsible for order in this court room and I feel I can’t achieve that if I am unable to see the faces of the people present,” said district court judge Stefan Wikmark to Swedish TV4.
The three women were stopped as they were trying to enter the courtroom for the remand hearing 26-year-old Abdi Aziz Mahamud who is under suspicion for plotting the murder of Swedish artist Lars Vilks at an art exhibition in Gothenburg in September. All three women were wearing niqabs covering them from head to toe.
One of the guards at the Gothenburg District Court prevented them from stepping into the court room, referring to the ban on face coverings, according to TV4’s affiliate in Gothenburg. The decision to refuse the women from entering the court room while wearing their traditional garb was taken by Wikmark during the remand negotiations.