Ban on burqas first introduced by Belgium’s government last year
Move follows riot sparked by arrest of a woman for wearing the full face covering
Belgian right-wingers have offered to pay a bounty to anyone who reports a veiled woman to police.
The Vlaams Belang political party made the 250 euros (£200) offer today in the wake of face veil riots in Brussels.
Filip Dewinter, a senior figure within the right-wing party, told Reuters the riots had made police apprehensive about enforcing the burqa ban.
He claimed that the payment should put pressure on authorities to further enforce it.
Mr Dewinter said: ‘It’s a textile prison for the women who have to live under it.’
The anti-immigration nationalist party’s stunt follows protesters hurling bins and metal barriers at a Brussels police station last week.
The riot broke out after a Muslim woman was arrested for refusing to remove her face veil, or niqab.
A Brussels police spokesman said he was unaware of the money being offered.
But added that any officer who sees a woman wearing a niqab would issue a penalty.
He said: ‘When someone is breaking the law we always have to intervene, demonstrations or no, the niqab is prohibited.’
Women in Belgium risk a maximum fine of 150 euros (£120) if they wear a full face veil in public.
Mr Dewinter said he was not aware how many people had already responded to the offer of a bounty.
A spokeswoman for Belgium’s federal police said the legality of the bounty was a question for the judiciary, but if someone felt insulted by it they could file a complaint with the police.
Police in Belgium are investigating last week’s riots and arrested 13 members of the Islamist group Sharia4Belgium on Sunday, the police spokesman said.
Sharia4Belgium was not immediately available for comment.
Belgium and France both banned the wearing of full veils in public last year.
Nicolas Sarkozy, who was French president when the ban was brought in, had commented that the outfits oppress women were ‘not welcome’ in France.
Canada announced in December that new citizens had to remove any face coverings, including the niqab and burqa, when they take the oath of citizenship.