New York to pay Muslim women forced to remove hijabs

NEW YORK New York City has agreed to pay US$180,000 (S$239,000) - US$60,000 each - to three Muslim women forced by the police to remove their headscarves to have their mugshots taken, officials said on Wednesday.

Two of the women were arrested in 2015 and one in 2012.

All three incidents took place in Brooklyn, New York's most populous borough.

The women claimed their religious rights had been violated, suing the city and the New York Police Department.

New York police have since changed their guidelines to allow detainees wearing a religious head covering to have their photograph taken in private by a police officer of the same sex.

"The resolution of these matters was in the best interest of all parties involved," said Ms Kimberly Joyce, a spokesman for the city of New York's law department.

US media identified one of the plaintiffs as a high school student at the time, detained on a harassment complaint and said another was cuffed in a dispute over parking. - AFP