A New Zealand business owner was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for ‘insulting Buddhism’ over an online advertising showing Buddha wearing headphones and within a psychedelic scene.
32-year-old Philip Blackwood – Tun Thurein and Htut Ko Ko Lwin were all give two years of hard labour for insulting the relgion – each person was also given six months additional for disobeying an order from a public servant.
Blackwood told reports as he was hauled off in a police van that he would appeal the decision by the high court.
The trial of Blackwood and his employees and partner made national headlines as the country gets caught up in the turmoil of religious nationalism, that turmoil has included retaliation against Muslim communities within the country.
The three men were arrested in December after they used an image of Buddha to promote their bar and lounge – the ad was later removed and an apology posted in its place