Singapore:A court in Singapore on Thursday sentenced a 17-year-old blogger to prison for inciting religious hatred on social media.
Amos Yee was ordered to pay a fine of around $1,460, and was declared guilty of posting several offensive messages against Christianity and Islam on Facebook and Youtubey.
“(Yee) cynically set out to wound religious feelings in order to gain attention for himself, and ultimately to profit financially from such attention,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Hon Yi said of the teenager, who had already been sentenced for insulting Christians last year.
Yee’s lawyer N. Kanagavijayan said his client, who faces a maximum three-year prison sentence, has admitted his guilt and expressed remorse for offending Christians and Muslims with his messages on social media, Efe news reported.
However, Human Rights Watch criticised the sentence, calling it a violation of the freedom of expression.
“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,” said Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of HRW’s Asia division.
The sentence will only serve to increase the audience for Yee’s messages, Robertson added.
Yee was also sentenced to four weeks in jail in 2015 for ridiculing in a video former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, considered the father of modern Singapore.
The sentence, however, was not effective since, Yee, then 16 years old, was locked up for 53 days before the trial in the Changi prison and subsequently was sent to a mental health institute on medical advice.