Author Topic: Briton jailed in Burma for ‘insulting’ Buddha image named prisoner of conscience  (Read 2262 times)

Offline Dharmakara

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A British bar manager jailed in a notorious Rangoon prison for insulting Buddhism is to be named as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International as his family and human rights activists campaign for his release.

Philip Blackwood’s case has become embroiled in the political ascendancy of radical Buddhist nationalist monks in the run-up to landmark elections in Burma next month.

His supporters have argued that his prosecution for religious defamation for uploading an image of Buddha wearing headphones to advertise his bar was a manoeuvre by the military-backed government to court nationalist support in tne former British colony also known as Myanmar.

Mr Blackwood, 33, whose family moved from Teesside to New Zealand when he was four, is malnourished after losing five stone and is being treated for depression after 10 months behind bars, his family said this week.

He is serving a 30-month sentence of hard labour in Rangoon’s Insein jail, the infamous prison where thousands of political detainees were incarcerated in terrible conditions by the country’s former military dictators.

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