The constitutional court of Bosnia & Herzegovina ruled on November 30 that a regulation obliging border policemen to shave their beards violates their right to openly practice their religious beliefs.
Safet Softic, first deputy speaker of the House of Peoples, objected to the rule and asked the court to rule on its constitutionality as it was violating the rights of Muslim men serving in the border police.
According to the constitutional court, the ruling is not in accordance with the European convention on protection of human rights and freedom.
The court’s ruling said the regulation, which was adopted in January this year, violates policemen’s right to a private life and the freedom to practice the religion of their choice.
The requirement for policemen to shave their beards should cease to exist once the court’s ruling is published in the State Gazette.
Balkan Insight quoted the border police service’s statement that all other police agencies in the country had similar rules, and that it adopted the regulation following complaints from citizens who claimed that bearded police looked "untidy".
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