Teen in 'online rant' charged with 3 offences

Teen in 'online rant' charged with 3 offences
16-year-old Amos Yee leaves the State Court.

A 16-year-old who posted an online rant about Christianity and made an offensive video about Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was charged with three offences in court yesterday.

Amos Yee Pang Sang is accused of attacking Christianity, transmitting an obscene image, and making an online video of Mr Lee that offended people who viewed it.

The teenager, who wore a black T-shirt and beige trousers, allegedly committed the offences at his home in Shunfu Road last Friday and Saturday.

Amos, who was not represented, allegedly uploaded content online which contained remarks against Christianity with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of Christians.

He is also said to have transmitted an obscene picture electronically.

The third charge, under the Protection from Harassment Act, accuses him of posting an insulting video clip online containing remarks about Mr Lee, which was intended to be heard and seen by persons likely to be distressed by it.

The remarks he made included "good riddance", and his hope that the late Mr Lee would not rest in peace.

The eight-minute YouTube video was taken down because there were too many negative ratings. His blog, too, was taken down on his father's orders.

After the charges were read to him, District Judge John Ng asked if he was engaging a lawyer to represent him.

"If I am able to do so, yes," he replied.

His police bail of $20,000 was extended.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hon Yi asked that an additional condition be imposed - that Amos undertake not to post, upload or otherwise distribute any comment or content online while his case is ongoing. Amos agreed.

The judge turned down the prosecutor's application that Amos report daily to the investigation officer.

Judge Ng then asked if there was any flight risk that he was not aware of. DPP Hon said there was none.

A pre-trial conference has been fixed for April 17.

Amos, who played a minor role in Jack Neo's movie We Not Naughty, was arrested on Sunday.

Both his parents, who are 48, were in court. His father, who became unemployed a month ago, told reporters outside the courtroom: "I would like to take this opportunity to say very sorry to PM Lee (Hsien Loong)."

Amos waved to the camera crew and photographers when he left the State Courts with his parents. His father bowed as he was walking down the building's steps.

The maximum penalty for wounding religious feelings is three years' jail and a fine.

For transmitting an obscene representation by electronic means, the maximum punishment is three months' jail and a fine, and for making insulting communication, a $5,000 fine.


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