South Asia

Bangladesh High Court passes key burka ruling

Women in Bangladesh
Image caption The court ruled that Bangladesh was predominantly a secular country

The High Court of Bangladesh has ruled that no-one can be forced to wear the burka, or full Islamic headdress.

This follows a similar but more limited ruling in August that women could not be forced to wear the burka at work or in schools or colleges.

Correspondents say the move is the latest sign of the judiciary's support for the government's attempts to pursue a more secular agenda.

The governing Awami League prides itself on its secular credentials.

It says that it wants to challenge the power of Islamic conservatives.

The court ruled that "secularism is one of the four principles of the constitution... and no-one can be forced to wear religious attire in the secular state".

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