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Russian Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Hijabs in Schools

Russia's Supreme Court has upheld a controversial prohibition of religious headwear in schools in the republic of Mordovia, RAPSI legal news agency reported Wednesday.

The ruling comes in response to a 2014 decree enacted by the government of Mordovia that also forbid schoolgirls from wearing miniskirts, jeans or low-cut tops, or from having visible piercings, dying their hair unnatural colors, or wearing religious attire — including hijabs.

The decree prompted an outcry from religious activists in the republic, who brought their complaints before the Supreme Court.

According to RAPSI, the legislation was introduced last October after a schoolgirl swallowed a pin used to secure a hijab.

Mordovia's grand mufti, Fagim Shafiyev, criticized the ban for allegedly violating the Russian Constitution and infringing on freedom of religion. Shafiyev had filed a complaint over the move with the republic's prosecutors, but they said there was no legal basis to lift the ban, the Regnum news agency reported.

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