Dutch tourist who unplugged Buddhist sermon released, deported

Dutch tourist Klaas Haytema, 30, was released from Mandalay Prison on Tuesday and immediately deported via Thailand after completing his three-month sentence. He was convicted in early October for unplugging a loudspeaker outside his hotel that was blasting a Buddhist sermon.

While on trial in late September, he told the court he did not know the loudspeaker was playing a religious sermon and had been struggling to sleep because of the noise. He was later found guilty of disrupting a religious assembly under Section 296 of the Myanmar Penal Code.

He was also fined K100,000 to avoid an additional six-month sentence for violating the terms of his visa, also, apparently, by unplugging the loudspeaker.

Following his sentencing, Haytema’s sister Geartsje told the Myanmar Times: “Three months, that means we could have him home at the end of December. That would just be the best Christmas present we could wish for.”

Merry Christmas, Haytema family.

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