Friday, December 12, 2014

Facebook Ad In Burma Lands Bar Managers In Jail For Insulting Religion

A court in Yangon, Burma yesterday denied bail to the owner and two managers of VGastro, a new upscale bar and tapas restaurant in the city's embassy area who are charged with insulting religion through an ad on the bar's Facebook page.  AFP reports that the offensive ad depicted a psychedelic mock-up of the Buddha wearing DJ headphones to promote a cheap drinks night.  The three defendants were charged with violating Myanmar Penal Code Sec. 295 (defiling a sacred object with the intent to insult religion) and Sec. 295A (insulting religious beliefs through written words or representations). Each charge carries a punishment of up to two years in prison.  The court ruled that these were no-bail offenses and remanded the men into custody until the next hearing on Dec.18.  A monk speaking for the Burmese Patriot Monks Union said: "We will wait and see what action the authorities take. We will do what we need to, if the authorities do not take action."