Indonesia Could Ban Booze Sales

By Victoria Kim 07/05/13

A Supreme Court win by a conservative Muslim group paves the way for local booze bans.

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"Sinful" spirits could soon be banned across
the country.
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Local booze bans could soon gain ground in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country after Indonesia's Supreme Court granted jurisdiction over the sale and distribution of alcohol to local authorities. A judicial review filed by the Islam Defenders Front (FPI)notorious for conducting violent raids on "sinful" bars and nightclubswas accepted by the court, abolishing a 1997 presidential decree which barred local authorities from banning the sale and distribution of alcohol. Following the ruling, local bylaws can now forbid the sale of alcohol to tourists and the small numbers of Indonesians who do drink. FPI has hailed it as a victory. "All Indonesian Muslims are overjoyed," says Salim Alatas, the head of the FPI's Jakarta branch. "The ruling has saved generations from the negative impact of alcohol." Since the court issued the ruling in mid-June, more than 22 local municipalities have prohibited the sales of alcohol. Booze sales in Indonesia have increased by more than 20% annually over the past three years.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr