Geneva Bans Burkini in All Public Swimming Pools


The government of the Swiss city of Geneva have effectively banned the Islamic swimwear known as the Burkini.

The city has set the new rules which state women can wear a one-piece or two-piece swimsuit which must have bare arms and no covering below the knee. No skirts or bathrobes will be allowed in public swimming pools either, regional daily newspaper Tribune de Genève reports.

The motion was carried largely by the right-wing members of the city government despite resistance from the former socialist mayor of Geneva Sami Kanaan, who argued against the motion. Kanaan claimed that the move was a “denial of an open, multicultural and liberal Geneva.”

The proponents of the new regulation say that it merely clarifies previous regulations that looked to arguments of hygiene in order to ban various garments from the swimming pools. They argued that the previous rules could allow women to go topless in the swimming pools or wear a Burkini and that the new rules were keeping in the spirit of the existing rules.

Many cities have attempted to ban the Islamic swimwear both from swimming pools and from public beaches. Last year, several cities in southern France announced bans on the burkini including the city of Cannes.

Thierry Migoule, head of municipal services in Cannes, argued for the ban, saying, “We are not talking about banning the wearing of religious symbols on the beach … but ostentatious clothing which refers to an allegiance to terrorist movements which are at war with us.”

While polls showed a majority of Frenchmen supported the ban on the burkini, the French courts struck down the ban in late August of last year.

In Germany and Austria, attempts have also been made to ban the burkini in swimming pools, with advocates for the ban arguing that the garment is not hygienic.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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