Europe's court of human rights has rejected an appeal by a Turkish-born couple who were fined in Switzerland for keeping their daughters out of mixed-gender, mandatory public-school swimming lessons for reasons linked to their Muslim faith.
The European Court of Human Rights decision upholds a Swiss federal court ruling that education officials had not violated the family's rights of freedom of conscience and religion in the case in Basel dating to 2008.
In a summary of the ruling announced Tuesday, the European court based in Strasbourg, France, acknowledged "interference" in freedom of religion but that public school had a "special role" in integration, particularly of children of foreign origin.
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Such issues of compulsory public education and religious belief have prompted similar cases in neighboring Germany and Liechtenstein in recent years.