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21-year-old man to be charged for Instagram posts that made threats against a religious community

SINGAPORE — A 21-year-old man will be charged with posting Instagram stories with the deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of other individuals, the police said in a media release on Sunday (Dec 19).

SINGAPORE — A 21-year-old man will be charged with posting Instagram stories with the deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of other individuals, the police said in a media release on Sunday (Dec 19). 

The Chinese permanent resident was arrested on June 8 last year after the police received many reports of an Instagram user posting insensitive comments and threats inciting violence against the Muslim community. The posts also contained hate comments.

Officers from the Jurong Police Division identified the man after investigation and arrested him. A laptop, a computer and a mobile handphone were seized.

TODAY understands that the suspect was a student at Temasek Polytechnic. 

Among the screenshots of the posts believed to be uploaded by the suspect, which were widely circulating last year, one was describing a dream where he kills members of a particular religion, and in another, he claimed to have “no problem committing genocide”. 

In another post, he threatened to burn religious texts such as the Bible and the Quran. 

The police said on Sunday that uttering words with the deliberate intent to hurt the religious feelings of another, which is an offence under the Penal Code, carries an imprisonment term of up to three years, a fine or both.

The man is also facing two other unrelated charges.

One is making insulting communication which is seen or perceived by another as likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress. It is an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act, and comes with a fine of up to S$5,000, if found guilty. 

He is also charged with possession of obscene films. An offence under the Films Act, he could be fined up to S$20,000 or jailed up to six months, or both. 

"The police take a serious view of acts that have the potential to damage racial and religious harmony in Singapore. Any person who makes remarks or takes action that can cause ill-will and hostility between different races or religions will be dealt with firmly," read the statement. 

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