>> Feel free to cover up on the beach if you want to, so says a top French court putting the controversial Burkini ban on hold Friday in one town, Villeneuve-Loubet. The ruling follows photographs going viral of a woman being ordered to remove her swimsuit by police. Reuters Deputy Bureau Chief in Paris is Richard Locke.
which is France's top administrative court, has overruled the bikini ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet. It ruled that the ban contravened individual liberties. It said it was grossly illegal, or words to that affect.>> A dozen French seaside towns have declared burkini bans, outraging Muslims and triggering an online backlash.
With presidential elections looming, the ruling is a slap in the face for the Prime Minister, and staunch supporter of the ban, Manuel Valls.>> He said that the bans were critical for maintaining law and order and were sort of an important tool in the fight against terrorism. Then last night, we had Nicholas Sarkozy, the former head of state, who's thrown his hand in to the ring for his presidential comeback.
He was saying that he would implement a law that would see a nationwide ban on the burkini. It looks like he may well have to roll back on that one now.>> The rights group that challenged the ban now calling for burkinis to be allowed in all seaside towns.
But France is proudly secular, and this debate may not be over. At least one mayor in Corsica already declaring the burkini ban stays in force.