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Friday, September 30, 2016

TEEN BLOGGER JAILED OVER SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS


(CNN) — Amos Yee, a Singaporean teen blogger,
has been sentenced to jail for controversial
religious posts that he wrote and shared on social
media.
A court found him guilty Thursday of eight charges;
six relate to "wounding religious feeling" and two
are for his failure to turn up at a police station
when summoned.
"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," wrote principal district
judge Ong Hian Sun in court documents obtained
by CNN.
The moppy-haired 17-year-old will serve six weeks
in prison and has been ordered to pay a $1,500
(2,000 Singapore dollars) fine.


Yee told CNN by phone that he'd been handed a
"good deal" by the prosecution and said that he
would not be acting outside the law in the future.
"I think that if I do continue to make critical social
media posts I'll post things that aren't illegal," Yee,
told CNN. "I think that will be possible."
Back in July 2015, Yee was detained for 53 days
after he posted a tirade on YouTube praising the
death of Singapore's first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan
Yew, calling him "totalitarian" and comparing him
unfavorably to Jesus and Mao Zedong.
He was later sentenced to three weeks in jail but
released given time already served.
Critics said Yee's arrest and subsequent detention
highlighted the restrictions on free speech in
Singapore. The Committee to Protect Journalists
called for the teen's release.

Various social media posts created by Yee were
presented as evidence against him in court.
"As his lawyer, I'm satisfied with the sentence and
I've advised Amos not to appeal," Yee's defense
lawyer Nadarajan Kanagavjayan, told CNN.
Yee had pleaded guilty to five of the eight charges.
"Given our situation and practices in Singapore,
Amos' sentence is very fair because you must also
remember that this isn't the first time he brushes
the law," Kanagavjayan, told CNN.
Yee will begin his sentence on October 13.
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