A woman in Sweden was refused a ride on a bus because she was wearing a veil at the time. According to reports by the Associated Press, the woman is now receiving USD 4,200 in compensation from the Swedish bus company.
The bus company in question was Arriva Scandinavia. According to a spokesperson from the company, Jan Widau, in addition to compensation to the woman, the company has also fired the driver responsible.
Details of the event were released by Sweden’s Ombudsman against ethnic discrimination. According to the ombudsman, the woman tried to board a bus in Malmo, in Sweden’s south-western region last year. The woman paid the full fare but was asked by the bus driver to leave the bus because he could not identify her due to her niqab head dress.
The woman was unmoved by the driver’s desire to identify her, as she was using a bus pass without a photograph. “I have never before needed to identify myself on a public bus. Wearing a head dress is my own choice and doesn’t make me any more threatening than anyone else,” she said.
The bus company claims to offer safe and secure transportation “for all people”, however the ombudsman said that in this case, the driver failed to allow someone to travel based on their religion. The ombudsman said that employees should not react to the clothing of the customers when offering service.
A company spokesman said Arriva was “happy to pay out the money” in this particular instance.