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Law on biometric documents issuance passes first reading in Belarus parliament

Law on biometric documents issuance passes first reading in Belarus parliament

Members of the House of Representatives of Belarus have given their first nod to a draft law which seeks to set out guidelines for the issuance of biometric documents such as passports.

Biometric passports and national ID cards were introduced in the eastern European nation in September 2021.

The bill, which was proposed by the council of ministers under the coordination of the head of state, amends a number of existing legislations including the one laying down conditions for Belarusians and other citizens to enter or leave the country, reports Belta.

The draft legislation imposes restrictions for travel out of Belarus for some categories of citizens such as those who are facing administrative proceedings, those employed by certain government establishments as well as those in military service. It also sets out conditions through which aliens can obtain either temporary or permanent residency in the country.

“The issue of biometric documents in Belarus started in September 2021. This innovation requires legislation. From the point of view of security and sovereignty, it is very important to define the rules for entry and exit of both Belarusians and foreigners to/from the Republic of Belarus,” says Valentina Razhanets, deputy chairperson of the standing commission on human rights, national relations and media of the House of Representatives, as quoted by Belta.

“The bill proposes to keep an eye on those who, due to certain circumstances, have not fulfilled their obligations to an administrative court until they discharge these obligations. And only then they will be permitted to travel abroad,” adds Razhanets.

In a similar report, Charter97 writes that the bill adds the biometric passport to the official list of documents with which a Belarusian can travel out of or into the country.

Razhanets says after scaling the first reading, the bill will undergo certain modifications before it is introduced for a second reading.

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