Blind Russian singer demands apology over U.K. visa requirements
Popular Russiansinger Diana Gurtskaya, who is blind, has demanded an apology from the British embassy after she was asked to remove her dark glasses while having her photograph taken for a U.K. visa.
Her lawyer said Gurtskaya came up against the problem when she handed her visa application at a U.K. visa center in Moscow. All applicants are required to provide fingerprints and a full-faced digital photograph as part of the procedure.
Gurtskaya, who wears dark glasses due to her blindness, said she felt "humiliated."
Gurtskaya`s lawyer-husband, Petr Kurchenko, said a letter of complaint had been sent to the British ambassador over the incident, which the singer said: "was the first time for many years of travel to different countries in the world that her blindness has become an obstacle."
The British embassy has made no comment on the issue.
However, the embassy website states: "Digital photographs must be of your full face and you should not wear sunglasses, a hat or any other head covering (unless you wear it for cultural or religious reasons but the face must not be covered)."
Under the rules for obtaining a Russian passport, photographs are also required to be taken without sunglasses.