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A new law that bans begging in Luxembourg’s capital city to rein in organized criminal gangs is sparking outrage among some residents and human rights advocates, Euronews reported Wednesday.

The controversy began last year when the Luxembourg City Council approved the legislation even as then-Home Affairs Minister Tania Bofferding prevented national police from enforcing the ban.

However, her newly-appointed replacement Leon Gloden formally introduced the law in the capital city in December, which took effect Jan. 15.

The bill bans begging in certain areas of Luxembourg City, such as shopping streets, public squares and car parks, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. People found begging could be ordered to pay a fine between $26 and $268 or face prison if they cannot pay.

Gloden and city authorities said the move is aimed at fighting “aggressive organized begging,” and to “safeguard the wellbeing of local residents and visitors and to protect local business activity.”

They added that the poor and the homeless in the city would still be able to receive support from social services and night shelters.

Some residents have acknowledged that begging has increased in the capital in recent years, but questioned whether a begging ban was the solution. Others criticized it as a “band-aid solution,” noting that the rich European Union country has been experiencing a housing crisis for years.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations said the ban is illegal because it clashes with EU laws.

“The (European Court of Human Rights) has understood that begging allows for providing for basic needs and that persons in vulnerable situations have a right, inherent in human dignity, to meet those basic needs through begging,” according to Fernanda Pérez Soll of Amnesty International Luxembourg.

But even as the legality of the ban remains in limbo, the country’s government is planning a series of reforms to the criminal code.

Officials said the changes will not ban begging on a national level but will provide more flexibility to municipal authorities to fulfil they duties.

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