Teenage blogger jailed in Singapore for the second time

Teenage blogger jailed in Singapore for the second time September 29, 2016

Fifteen months after he was given a prison sentence for ‘wounding religious feelings’, teenage blogger Amos Yee, above, was today sentenced to six weeks imprisonment for a similar ‘crime’ and fined $2,000.
According to this report, the 17-year-old was found guilty of eight charges – two for failing to turn up at a police station and six for intending to wound the feelings of Muslims and/or Christians.
Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun said:

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.
It is therefore in the public interest that such conduct by (Yee) should not be condoned or tolerated by this court.

If Yee does not pay the fine, he will have to spend another 10 days in jail. He will start his sentence on October 13.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Hon Yi said:

This case is about an accused person who, even after a previous brush with the law for a similar offence, deliberately upped the ante by escalating the offensiveness of the material which he created. Yee cynically set out to wound religious feelings in order to gain attention for himself, and ultimately to profit financially from such attention.

DPP Hon said that although Yee is young, he is not immature, and:

He knows full well the implications of his action. A viewing of his videos, laden with strong language and rife with comments aimed at insulting key aspects of the Christian and Muslim faiths easily bears this out. In sentencing, this court should send a clear message that acts which impugn the racial and religious harmony of this country will not be tolerated.

Defence lawyer N. Kanagavijayan said Yee is:

Deeply remorseful for all his acts. He admits that all his acts were grossly offensive and provocative to the Christian faith and to Islam. He admits that his acts were premeditated.
He admits that he does not possess any religious, scholastic and/or intellectual ability to discuss religion. He admits that the contemptuous and vituperative language that he had used … shows his shallowness of his thoughts in respect of both Christianity and Islam.

Yee first came to the attention of the authorities when he uploaded an expletive-laden video on March 27, 2015, four days after the death of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. Yee later also posted an obscene image on his blog.
He was convicted on May 12, 2015, and sentenced on July 6 to four weeks’ jail. He was released the same day as the punishment was backdated to include his time in remand. He had spent about 50 days in prison after repeatedly breaching bail conditions.
His latest month-long trial was attended by officials of the UN Human Rights Council and the European Union, and was also closely watched by rights groups.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Right Watch’s Asia division, said in an email:

By prosecuting Amos Yee for his comments, no matter how outrageous they may have been, Singapore has unfortunately doubled down on a strategy that clearly violates freedom of expression.
For a country that prides itself on efficiency, Singapore should re-examine its approach, because every time the authorities go after him, it just adds to his online audience who are interested to find out the latest thing.

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  • Perhaps officials in Singapore are not familiar with the Quran, which insults the feelings of Christians and Jews, or the Bible, which insults the feelings of Jews, or the Torah, which insults the feelings of Caananites.
    Or perhaps religions are free to insult each other but the non-religious may not play along.

  • Broga

    The only people you can insult with impunity are atheists. Indeed, you will be praised for doing so.

  • L.Long

    The last bunch that can be freely criticized, insulted and beat up…atheists and gays!!! Hell even satanists have it easier than we do!!

  • barriejohn

    He’s an odd character, and admits to some strange behaviour, but these prosecutions are vindictive, and counter productive, as he has stated. His enemies have turned him into a personality – doh! Will they never learn?

  • barriejohn

    I think we may have seen his previous video, about Lee Kuan Yew, before, but here is his June offering:
    Can’t see why any Muslims would be upset by that, can you?
    # hey you are gonna get it bitch the isis is gonna come after you they are everywhere even singapore?
    # Hi Amos, I just read you’re to be imprisoned for “hurting the religious feelings” of Christians and muslims, I just wanted to say that regarding Christianity I disagree with pretty much everything you post, but I support your right to say it without consequence! Good luck!?
    # Congrats to you! The Judge finally sentence you to 6 months jail in Singapore, woooow! I’ve been waiting for this verdict for quite some time, so all Muslims/Christians, justice is finally done! You can show all your nipple talent show in the jail, hahaha! Try again insulting the holy scriptures, Allahu Akbar, Hellallujah! How about a pre-jail party? LOL SMH?

  • Cali Ron

    barriejohn;: The comments really illustrate the loving, open mindedness and tolerance of the religious. Definition of hypocrisy -the religious.

  • Laura Roberts

    @TrevorBlake: precisely what I was thinking. I guess these authorities think it’s far better to continue to allow contradictory, obsolete religious texts to foment religious violence than to allow anyone to poke fun at Jesus, Mohammed, Yaweh or Allah.

  • Paul

    Regarding the comments made by the religious against this young man – those are rightly harmful and many if said in the street would result in an arrest for threatening words and behaviour and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.
    How is it hurtful to say a belief (not a fact or truth) doesn’t exist. This bit I never understand and I never understand why we create laws to protect the non existent. It is wholly illogical.

  • Newspaniard

    A MONTH LONG trial of a 17 year old for abusing the religion of peace and the religion of child molesters? Something wrong with that justice system.