Justice ministry allows issuance of temporary, non-electronic IDs for religious people

The Georgian Constitutional Court has accepted a lawsuit on the rule of issuing identification documents in Georgia.

Agenda.ge, 30 Dec 2019 - 14:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Justice Ministry has allowed for the issuance of one-month, non-electronic ID cards for religious people, following a decision of the Georgian Constitutional Court last week which accepted the lawsuit protesting the current rule of issuing identification documents in Georgia.

The court, which accepted a lawsuit of two citizens against the rule of issuing ID cards and passports, ruled that before the final verdict is delivered, people will be able to receive both electronic and non-electronic IDs.

The Justice Ministry has stated earlier today that people who are without ID cards and refuse to apply for the document because of religious motives, will be able to receive non-electronic ID cards which will be valid for one month's time, though he term might be prolonged before the court delivers the final verdict.

People will have to present a document proving they are really religious, for instance =, baptism and marriage certificates issued by the church to receive non-electronic IDs. 

Plaintiffs say that the current rule of issuing identification documents in Georgia violates the rights of religious people. 

Plaintiffs Nana Sepashvili and Ia Rekhviashvili dispute the rule of issuing ID cards and biometric passports in Georgia, which bans access to the documents without electronic transmission of information.

They state that the rule violates the constitutional rights of religious people, who see electronic documents as a “lever for exercising control on people in the era of apocalypses”.

The opposition has linked the court’s decision on the temporary suspension of the regulation to the Georgian Dream government, stating that the current state leadership will allegedly use the removal of the ban to fabricate votes in the 2020 parliamentary elections.

Vice Speaker Giorgi Volski has responded that the “court’s decision has nothing to do with the government and the statement is absolutely ungrounded and absurd.”

Religious people and the church have been demanding the issuance of non-electronic identification documents, together with electronic ones, since 2011.

The plaintiffs say that many religious people in Georgia refuse to accept electronic ID documents, which automatically deprives them of a range of vital necessities and services, and restricts their religious freedoms.