Parliament passes Iraq booze ban
Organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar say that a worker has died in a “workrelated” incident at a stadium building site. No further details of the cause of the death at the Wakrah Stadium on Saturday were released. The Supreme Committee tasked with building World Cup sites did not name the worker or provide his nationality. Qatar is relying heavily on migrant workers from South Asia to build infrastructure for the World Cup and labour conditions in the country have been regularly criticised by rights groups. At least three workers have previously died on World Cup building sites but Qatar said the deaths were not work-related. But World Cup organisers announced on their website that “it is with deep regret we announce a work-related fatality on one of our projects. Following an incident on Al Wakrah Stadium on Saturday morning, a full investigation is under way to determine the factors which contributed to the death of one of our workers”. The statement added that “authorities were immediately informed and the family of the deceased have been notified. We offer them all the necessary support they may need at such a difficult time”. Iraq’s parliament has passed a law forbidding the import, production or selling of alcoholic beverages. The bill passed late on Saturday imposes a fine of up to 25 million Iraqi dinars (Dhs65,000) for anyone violating the ban. Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol, but it has always been available in Iraq’s larger cities, mainly from shops run by Christians. Those shops are currently closed because of the Shia holy month of Muharram. Iraq’s parliament is dominated by Shia parties. The legislation was proposed by Mahmoud Al Hassan, a judge and lawmaker from the State of Law coalition, the largest bloc in parliament. The assembly announced the ban on its website. It did not say how many lawmakers voted for or against it.
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