Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

The House of Representatives Adopted Compulsory Fingerprinting Requirement

The House of Representatives on Wednesday gave both readings to a draft legislation introducing a compulsory fingerprinting requirement that would apply to all men eligible for military service aged between 18 and 55.

While presenting the bill to the lower chamber, Interior Minister Anatol Kulyashow said that the measure would help the police detect more offenses and improve crime prevention work.

The minister said that 1.4 million people had already been fingerprinted in what he described as a "voluntary" campaign. Sixty-one percent of all men eligible for military service have been fingerprinted, while some 22,000 have refused to give their fingerprints, he said.

The campaign has allowed the police to find suspects in more than a thousand thefts and over 50 graver crimes, including seven murders and four rapes, the minister said.

At the end of last year, men across Belarus started to receive summons from their local military enlistment offices where they were asked to give their fingerprints. The fingerprinting measure was introduced as part of an investigation into Minsk`s July 2008 bombing that injured more than 50 people during an Independence Day concert.

The draft law is to take effect three months after it is officially published.