Dutch tourist faces 2 years in Myanmar prison for disrupting holy ritual
Dutch man Klaas Haijtema could face up to two years in prison for disrupting a Buddhist sermon in Myanmar last month. He unplugged a loudspeaker broadcasting Buddhist prayers because it interrupted his sleep.
According to British newspaper Telegraph, the 30-year-old Dutchman apologized profusely in the initial court hearing. "I wanted to sleep desperately. I couldn't stand the noise and checked outside the hotel", he said. "I saw children were playing. I thought they were plying it and disconnected the amplifier. I did not notice it was a religious building."
Haijtema is facing charges of "insulting religion", a sensitive issue for the mostly Buddhist population. It carries a 2 year prison sentence. On Tuesday a local legal officer demanded a criminal trial, stating the offense is serious enough to warrant it. The Dutch man is also accused of wearing shoes in the religious hall.