No ID cards for Kazakhstanis with tattoos and piercings15 january 2015, 01:59
Some Kazakhstanis are starting to discover that they cannot obtain new identity cards because of having tattoos and piercings on their faces. These people risk being left without documents, Tengrinews reports citing Channel 7.
According to the channel, the tattoos and piercings are banned by rules regulating photos for new ID cards that have been issued since December 2014 in Kazakhstan. The goal of the new rules is to improve the quality of the photos, the officials say. But now it looks like the policymakers want to improve people’s appearances too.
Some residents of Almaty claim the ban also includes hair bangs and necklines (clothes should have a collar), pendants and other similar accessories. Even eyebrow tattoos have been struck by the new rule, people say.
Not surprisingly, the rule was met with dissatisfaction. There are those who believe it is an insult and violation of human rights.
"I'm used to my nose piercing. I am used to it as much as I am used to my clothes, or to having hands, feet and a head. And I don’t feel very comfortable without it," said Salim Akhmatzina. She said that she wasn’t going to part with her piercing even for five minutes to take a photo.
Many other residents of Kazakhstan are facing similar problems. One question they ask is how to get rid of a face tattoo if time is running out and a new document is needed soon.
The officials claim that the anti-tattoo requirement has been in place since 2001 and complies with ICAO standards, so Kazakhstanis need to be more selective when choosing a way of expressing themselves, especially if this has something to do with their looks.
According to Maira Otarbayeva, a senior inspector at a police station of the Department of Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the photo requirements ban various accessories but not on eyebrow, eyelid and lip tattoos.
Well, that’s a relief, isn’t it?
Deputy of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Lyudmila Poltorabatko cleverly noted: "There are tattoos one can wash away, there are those one cannot. The washable ones, have to be removed. As for all the rest, there is no way around it. Noone would remove them just to have their picture taken."
Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina