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Business News/ News / World/  New York Police department accused of violating religious freedom, to pay $17.5 million in Hijab mugshot case
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New York Police department accused of violating religious freedom, to pay $17.5 million in Hijab mugshot case

The New York Police department will pay $17.5 million in a class action case led by two Muslim women who were forced to remove their hijabs for mugshots in 2017. Over 3,600 people may be eligible for compensation.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2018 by Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz, two Muslim women who said they felt shamed and exposed when they were forced to remove their hijabs after they were arrested. (Getty Images via AFP)Premium
The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2018 by Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz, two Muslim women who said they felt shamed and exposed when they were forced to remove their hijabs after they were arrested. (Getty Images via AFP)

The New York Police department is set to pay out $17.5 million following a class action case led by two Muslim women. Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz had been forced to remove their hijabs before posing for mugshots after they were arrested in 2017. Lawyers suggest that more than 3,600 people are eligible for pay-outs under the deal.

“When they forced me to take off my hijab, I felt as if I were naked. I’m not sure if words can capture how exposed and violated I felt. I’m so proud today to have played a part in getting justice for thousands of New Yorkers," read a statement from Clark.

The duo had been arrested separately in 2017 for violating bogus protective orders. City officials had initially defended the practice, insisting that it balanced respect for religious customs with “the legitimate law enforcement need to take arrest photos." 

The policy was however changed to allow hijabs four years ago with the city adding that the case had "resulted in a positive reform".

ALSO READ: Rajasthan BJP MLA faces protests from Muslim students over hijab: ‘Our children will turn up in lehenga chunni’

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 06 Apr 2024, 02:38 PM IST
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