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Protest over Indonesia alcohol law

Anger outside Indonesia's Home Affairs Ministry. Hundreds of members of Indonesia's Islamic Defenders Front held a protest here after media reports the government planned to cancel alcohol bylaws. Scrapping the bylaws would allow strong liquor to be sold in places other than restaurants, hotels and bars. One demonstrator demanded that the Home Affairs Minister admit that he had begun procedures to revoke the bylaw. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) PROTEST LEADER AWIT MASYURI: "We demand transparency from the Home Affairs Minister, do not lie to us. Just admit that he has issued the cancellation letter." But the Minister says the bylaw is part of a bill that is under review and that he has no plan to revoke the alcohol ban. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER GAMAWAN FAUZI: "We are reviewing the bill, and sent letters to the local government about the permit and distribution and which party has the authority on these, that's all. So, these letters are not a cancellation of the bylaw." The extremist Islamic Defenders Front is famous for its stance against alcohol in the predominantly Muslim country, and is known for smashing up bars that sell the intoxicant. Simon Hanna, Reuters.

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