Iraq Starts Enforcing 2016 Ban on Alcoholic Beverages

Iraq has begun enforcing a 2016 ban on alcoholic beverages, an official document showed, a move some Iraqis attribute to the growing clout of Islamic religious parties that they fear is threatening social freedoms.

Enforcement took effect when the law was published in Iraq’s official gazette on Feb. 20, seven years after its passage by parliament. No official reason for the delay has been given, but analysts said religious parties exert more influence in the current coalition government than recent predecessors.

Border crossings and airport authorities have been ordered to confiscate any alcoholic drinks in the possession of travellers, according to a government document seen by Reuters.

But despite the ban, liquor stores around the capital Baghdad and in some provinces remain open for business with proprietors saying that they had not been officially informed that they must stop trading.



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