Dutch tourist jailed in Myanmar for three months for disrupting Buddhist service


A Dutch tourist has been jailed for three months in Myanmar after disrupting a religious meeting, the Myanmar Times said on Thursday.

The jail term is the minimum sentence that judges could hand down to Klaas Haytema, 30, the paper said. He was also fined the equivalent of €105 for immigration offences.

Haytema was accused of disconnecting the amplifier broadcasting a Buddhist service outside his hotel in the region of Mandalay last month. He was charged with the intentional insult to religious feelings or beliefs.

Haytema said during the trial that he disconnected the amplifier because he could not sleep. He was unaware he had entered a religious building and for this reason had not taken off his shoes, as required by law.

NOS correspondent Michel Maas said Haytema was disappointed at the sentence and hoped to get off with a fine.

‘He has gone back to his cell and the conditions are fairly reasonable if you think about their reputation, Maas said.

‘He shares a cell with other prisoners, has a mattress and mosquito net and gets good food and enough to drink.’

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