About 60 demonstrate outside S'pore Trade Office in Taipei; call for Amos Yee's release

SINGAPORE/TAIPEI - About 60 people demonstrated outside the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei on Friday morning, calling for teenage blogger Amos Yee to be freed.

The protesters from more than 10 civil society groups under the banner of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR) held placards and chanted "Free Amos Yee" for about half an hour.

The 16-year-old, who was found guilty last month of uploading an obscene image and making remarks intended to hurt the feelings of Christians in a video, is currently in remand at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) to undergo psychiatric examination to see if he is suitable for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO).

First implemented in 2010, an MTO requires offenders with mental conditions to undergo psychiatric treatment for up to two years in lieu of jail time.

Yee's case is scheduled to be heard again on July 6, when District Judge Jasvender Kaur will consider sentencing options such as an MTO and reformative training.

In Taipei on Friday, TAHR deputy secretary-general Shi Yixiang, noting that Singapore is a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), said: "We hope the Singapore authorities can respect the regulations of the CRC, and withdraw charges, ensure freedom of speech for Amos Yee, and release him immediately.

"We will continue to monitor developments in this matter. If Amos Yee is still not released, there will be a continuation of such related demonstrations..."

The association joins a number of international groups that have spoken up about Yee.

On Tuesday, the Bangkok-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for Yee's immediate release, and urged the Government to review his conviction. His case has also been reported on this past week by the international media including The Economist, Forbes, the New York Times, Vice News, and AJ+ under the Al-Jazeera Media Group.

This article was first published on June 26, 2015.
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