The French cabinet has approved a bill making it illegal to wear in public clothes designed to hide the face.
The legislation amounts to a ban on the full-face Muslim veil. Women wearing the veil in public could be fined, and men judged to have forced them to do so could be imprisoned, BBC News reports.
The bill envisions a fine of 150 euros ($190) and/or a citizenship course as punishment for wearing a face-covering veil.
Forcing a woman to wear a niqab or a burqa would be punishable by a year in prison or a 15,000-euro ($19,000) fine, the government said, calling it "a new form of enslavement that the republic cannot accept on its soil.", CNN informs.