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Iraqi parliament outlaws alcohol sale, import, production

23 October 2016 14:49

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The Iraqi legislature has voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol, imposing a fine on those who breach the law.

The measure was passed during a parliamentary session in Baghdad on Saturday, but some opponents said that they would appeal against the decision in courts.

Supporters, however, hailed the ban as justified by the Iraqi Constitution, which prohibits any law contradicting the religion of Islam.

“A law was passed today and Article 14 of that law bans the import, production and sale of all kinds of alcohol,” said Yonadam Kanna, a veteran Christian MP.

“Every violation of this law incurs a fine of 10 million to 25 million dinars (roughly $8,000 to $20,000),” he added.

Ammar Toma, a Shia lawmaker, defended the measure, emphasizing that the constitution stipulates that “no law that contradicts the provisions of Islam may be established.”

Alcohol is scarcely offered in Iraqi hotels and restaurants, but some small shops, especially in Baghdad, sell alcoholic beverages.

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