By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 14 March 2016:
Those caught consuming alcohol will be given 80 lashes, the rump of the General National . . .[restrict]Congress has ruled.
Until now drinking alcohol, which is forbidden in Libya, had resulted in a LD 600 fine. Beside the flogging, those found drinking could now also be fined up to LD 5,000.
These punishments are no longer to be limited to the drinker but will apply to those who are present when drinking is taking place or who provided the alcohol.
Those who actually sell alcohol, will also continue to be liable for a jail sentence and could be fined up to LD 10,000, though it is unclear if they will receive 80 lashes as well.
The most popular and affordable illegal alcohol in Tripoli is the home-brewed bokha, where quality control is minimal and the producers sometimes add methanol. In 2013 there were 101 deaths from drinking a methanol-laced batch which caused kidney failure. More than a thousand people were taken ill in that incident.
Attempts by police to shut down the producers who were also said to be dealing in drugs led to a major firefight in the Al-Hendi district of Gargaresh and subsequent rioting which blocked the Gargaresh Road.
There have been regular reports of militiamen manning roadblocks in the capital who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. [/restrict]