Nearly 2,000 women in Bosnia have taken to the streets of the capital in protest at a recent ban on wearing hijab in the country’s judicial institutions.
The demonstration, held on Sunday in the capital city of Sarajevo, was triggered in the wake of a recent decision by Bosnia’s high judicial council to ban “religious signs” in judicial institutions.
The protesters, marching for hours through the city, raised banners reading “Hijab is My Daily Choice,” “Hijab is My Right” and “Hijab is My Life.”
“We gathered to protest against prejudices, discrimination and marginalization,” said Samira Zunic Velagic, a protest organizer.
“The ban on wearing hijab in judicial institutions is a serious attack against Muslim honor, personality and identity, a violation… aimed at depriving them of their right to work,” she added.
Strongly condemned by Bosnia’s Mulism political and religious leaders, the ban affects judges and other employees in the judicial sector.
“We came here to say that we are not the victims of this scarf. We came to defend our rights. It is our crown, our liberty, our honor,” one of the protesters said.
Bosnian Muslims constitute 40 percent of the country’s 3.8 million population.