Burma: Dutch Tourist Detained For ‘Insulting Religion’


A 30-year-old Dutch tourist has landed in trouble for “insulting religion” in Myanmar after he pulled the plug on a speaker that was being used for a late-night Buddhist sermon.

Police arrested Klass Haytema after he allegedly disconnected a cable linking an amplifier and a speaker that played a sermon being held in a hall in the city of Mandalay on Sept. 23, reported AFP.

Haytema said that the sermon was disturbing him, police said.

“The religious hall is not far from the hotel where he was staying … he said he did it because it was too noisy for him,” Kyi Soe, police chief told AFP.

The Myanmar Times reported that soldiers had to protect Haytema from an angry crowd before police took him into custody. He was later transferred to a Mandalay prison.

Haytema has been “detained him for insulting religion,” said Kyi Soe but he has yet to be charged, said AFP. The punishment under section 295 of the country’s penal code carries up to a two-year jail term and fine.

UCA News

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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