Austrian police fine man over face-veil stunt

Police in navy uniforms talk to members of the public and other Mc Shark staff members

Police in navy uniforms talk to members of the public and other Mc Shark staff members

This has led confusion like the situation with the man in the shark costume.

Police in Vienna recently approached a poor worker, whose name remains undisclosed, posing as a mascot in front of an electronic retail store, promoting a new Apple device.

A man who was hired to wear a shark costume for a promotional event has fallen foul of Austria's new burqa ban.

"The shark was fined because he refused to take his mask off", police spokesman Daniel Fürst told Heute newspaper.

The Warda Network managed to make the most of the phrase "all publicity is good publicity" by posting a photograph of the incident on their Facebook page, with the message: "Life is not simple". The officials believe someone reported the McShark mascot to the law enforcement agencies to highlight the new law.

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Violators of the law can be fined 150 pounds, the equivalent of about $176.

Instead, Austrians are no longer legally allowed to cover their faces or else be fined.

Under the guise of an "integration package" meant to encourage assimilation into Austrian culture, the ban went into effect October 1 due to fears associated with burqas and full-face veils worn by Muslims, but the law can be applied to anyone who appears to be masking their appearance.

Several bikers have already been pulled over for covering their faces, according to Newsweek and some street performers have been issued warnings.

Local paper Österreich reports that those who reported the man in the shark costume in the first place were likely doing so to prove a point. Popularly known as the "burqa ban", the law is mostly seen as directed at the clothing worn by some ultra-conservative Muslim women.

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