Teen blogger jailed in Singapore for insulting Muslims, Christians
SINGAPORE, SEPTEMBER 29: A 17-year-old blogger in Singapore was jailed on Thursday for six weeks and fined USD 1,465 for insulting Muslims and Christians.
Amos Yee, who had last year attacked Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to producing and uploading a photograph and two videos that were deliberately intended to insult Muslims.
Last month, he pleaded guilty to three charges of wounding feelings of Muslims and Christians and two charges for failing to show up at a police station.
During his trial, the court heard that 24 police reports had been lodged against Yee, in relation to the total of six counts he faces for wounding religious feelings.
Yee left Singapore in December last year after being served a notice for attending a police interview two days later. He travelled to Hong Kong where he published several posts about being served the notice.
After he returned in April, the police served another notice on Yee. He tried to leave the country the day before the interview and was arrested on May 11.
Principal district Judge Ong Hian Sun said Yee is not lacking in his mental capacity to make rational choices in the way he conducts himself, adding that he has the capability to do good or harm with what he does and says.
“He has, on several occasions, deliberately elected to do harm by using offensive and insulting words and profane gestures to hurt the feelings of Christians and Muslims. His contemptuous and irreverent remarks have the tendency to generate social unrest and undermine the religious harmony in our society,” the judge said.
“It is therefore in the public interest that such conduct by (Yee) should not be condoned or tolerated by this court,” the judge added.
If Yee, who will start his sentence on October 13, does not pay the fine, he will have to spend another 10 days in jail, according to a report by The Straits Times.
The prosecution had sought six weeks in jail and a fine of 2,000 Singapore dollars (USD 1,465) in total, while Yee’s lawyer asked for four weeks’ jail and a fine of 1,000 dollars, in default five days’ jail.
The blogger was convicted of similar charges last year and sentenced to four weeks’ jail.
Yee first came to attention when he uploaded an expletive-laden video in March last year, four days after the death of Lee Kuan Yew. He was sentenced in July to four weeks in jail but released the same day as the punishment was backdated to include his time in remand.