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Amos Yee jailed 6 weeks, fined for hurting religious feelings

SINGAPORE — A district judge rapped teenage blogger Amos Yee for misusing his mental capacity to repeatedly harm others’ feelings, as he imposed a sentence of six weeks’ jail and a S$2,000 fine.

Amos Yee outside the courthouse on Sept 29, 2016. Photo: Robin Choo/TODAY

Amos Yee outside the courthouse on Sept 29, 2016. Photo: Robin Choo/TODAY

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SINGAPORE — A district judge rapped teenage blogger Amos Yee for misusing his mental capacity to repeatedly harm others’ feelings, as he imposed a sentence of six weeks’ jail and a S$2,000 fine.

Noting that the 17-year-old is “not lacking in his mental capacity to make rational choices”, Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun said Amos, instead, “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 (Amos) should not be condoned or tolerated by this court,” the judge added.

It was the second time Amos had landed in court for wounding the religious feelings of others. In the current case, he faced six such charges. For instance, he uploaded a photo on his Facebook account on April 17 that showed him holding the Quran in one hand and making an offensive gesture with the other.

In July last year, he was sentenced to four weeks’ jail for similar charges.

Amos also faced two counts of disobeying orders to turn up at a police station for investigations.

In seeking a jail term of six weeks and a fine of S$2,000, Deputy Public Prosecutor Hon Yi noted that the content of the videos Amos posted was extremely offensive. 

He did not mince his words, choosing to use crude and repugnant words to denigrate Christianity and Islam, said the prosecutor.

There was also “financial motivation” involved in the posts he made, he added. 

The blogger had, in an interview he gave to the Hong Kong Free Press, alluded to the fact that there were advertisements in the videos he posted. This meant that he would make more money if there were more viewers.

In mitigation, Amos’ lawyer Kanagavijayan Nadarajan noted that Amos admitted that his acts were offensive and provocative to the Christian faith and to Islam.  Amos is also deeply remorseful for all his acts, he added.

Amos’ jail term will be deferred to Oct 13 for him to sort out his personal and financial affairs.

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