Belgian diplomat arrested after allegedly tearing full-face veil off Qatari princess

This article is more than 12 months old

Belgian diplomat Jean-Marie Pire was arrested for allegedly tearing the full-face veil off a Qatari princess.

The princess, accompanied by two other women, had approached Pire asking for directions to the Grand Palace, a tourist attraction located in Brussels, Belgium, reported the Daily Mail.

Instead of helping out the lost tourists, he told her that he does not talk to anyone if he cannot see their faces. 

"I wanted to make it clear that the veil is banned in Belgium," he said

"Because the person asking me a question didn’t seem to hear me, I lifted her veil. I know I shouldn’t have done that, but what she did wasn’t legal either!’ He continued.

Witnesses claimed that Pire was drunk at that the time of the incident, something which he has denied.

The unnamed woman has made an official complaint to prosecutors in Brussels.

She said she suffered cuts and bruises after her earrings were violently dislodged, along with her veil.

While Pire may be charge with assault, the woman herself is facing a possible fine of £115 (S$238) and up to seven days in prison for wearing the veil in public.

Belgium was the second European after France to ban the wearing of a full-face veil in public in 2011.

Source: Daily Mail, BBC