Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Russia allows Muslim women to wear headscarves in ID photos

Muslim women who come to Russia to work have received permission from the Russian government to wear hijabs, traditional veils that cover the head but leave the face uncovered, when having their photos taken for identification papers.

"The order says that it's allowed to take photographs of persons wearing head attire that doesn't cover the face of people whose religious convictions prevent them from having their head uncovered in the presence of strangers. Photographing in overcoats or scarves covering up part of the chin is not allowed," Federal Migration Service spokeswoman Zalina Kornilova told Interfax on Friday, citing an order by FMS head Konstantin Romodanovsky that has been in force since January 1.

"These are the same criteria as those for photographs for Russian Federation passports," she said.

"Freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international treaties on human rights," Kornilova said, adding that in 2003 the Russian Supreme Court satisfied appeals against an Interior Ministry ban on official photos showing people with their heads covered.

The order sets new rules on photographing and fingerprinting for foreigners seeking work or applying for the registration of patents in Russia.

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