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GLOBAL-POY/IMAGE
RTX6I8XM
December 12, 2018
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Pictures of the Year: A picture and its story
Ayah, 37, a wearer of the niqab weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1, 2018. Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly: "I travelled to Denmark in May to cover a new, controversial law that banned the wearing of face veils in public. As I followed a large demonstration in Copenhagen protesting against the ban, I came across a scene that was emblematic of the polarizing issue. I noticed a female police officer talking to some women in niqabs, the veil worn by some Muslim women. I wasn't sure whether the police officer was going to fine them, but I quickly realized she was being very friendly. She spoke with one of veiled women, Ayah, who was visibly emotional. The officer reassured her, and the two women hugged as Ayah wept. The photo was widely picked up and sparked a heated debate on the ban. People were divided: Many praised the officer, while others called for her suspension. It also created huge interest in Ayah. She gave interviews and was able to explain how the ban affected her life. "It's just absurd. I can't do the things I love to do any more," Ayah told Reuters. "I'm just going to be a prisoner in my home." But sudden notoriety also brought a lot of negative attention and Ayah has since retreated to a life away from the spotlight." REUTERS/Andrew Kelly SEARCH "POY STORY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2018 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
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