Russia’s Muslim Chechnya to ban energy drinks

Reuters Blogs 19 July 2011

Russia’s Muslim Chechnya region is planning to ban the sale of non-alcoholic energy drinks such as Red Bull to under 18s, saying they are un-Islamic and dangerous, health officials said. The ban would be the latest restriction from authorities in Chechnya, where shops can only sell alcohol during a small morning time frame, eateries are shut during the Ramadan fasting month and women must wear headscarves in state buildings.

"Energy drinks are comparable to beer,” the deputy minister of health in Chechnya, Rukman Bartiyev, told Reuters, adding that they were harmful to health.

The proposed ban was met with praise from the more conservative sectors of society, but angered ordinary Chechens who are growing increasingly frustrated at laws that only apply to Chechnya and sometimes contradict the Russian constitution. (...)