British women ordered to leave swimming pool in Portugal for wearing burkinis

They were told that they 'must wear a bikini to abide by Portuguese culture'

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 01 August 2017 11:29

Two British women say they were left humiliated after being told to leave a private swimming pool in Portugal because they were both wearing burkinis.

Maryya Dean, 36 and sister-in-law Hina were with Dean’s nine-year-old daughter when their relaxing day at the pool was interrupted by a member of staff who told them that they must comply with Portuguese culture and wear bikinis, or leave.

They reportedly made Dean’s daughter, who was wearing a swimsuit, stand up to exemplify what he deemed “appropriate” poolside attire.

Maryya Dean

"We told him we didn't wear bikinis because we weren't comfortable in them. It was a confidence thing. But he kept repeating 'you have to wear a bikini'. We were feeling really humiliated," Hina told the Mirror.

Dean, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was wearing three quarter-length leggings over a normal swimming costume whilst Hina sported leggings and a long-sleeved top.

The two women, from Chessington in Surrey, were incensed by the incident, feeling utterly horrified as they were made to leave the pool area.

"We were embarrassed as we came out of the pool with with four children and people were watching us like we'd committed a crime," Dean told the Mirror, confessing that the return to the apartment felt like doing a “walk of shame.”

The family were residing in a rented apartment complex in Albufeira, a popular holiday destination amongst tourists on the coast.

There was an uproar last summer when a string of “burkini bans” were issued across resorts in France, with one tribunal in Nice ruling that the ban was “necessary, appropriate and proportionate” to prevent public disorder.

In spite of controversy, burkinis can be purchased in the UK from a wide range of major retailers, including M&S, Sports Direct and Amazon.

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