Sunday, 10th December 2023

Teen in Singapore facing jail over anti-Lee video bailed out

A teenager in Singapore was charged over a expletive-laden YouTube video that criticised the city-state's late founding leader Lee Kuan Yew was bailed out

amos leeA Singaporean teenager charged over a expletive-laden YouTube video that criticised the city-state’s late founding leader Lee Kuan Yew and Christianity was bailed out Tuesday after spending five days in remand.

Amos Yee, 16, was remanded at Changi Prison late Friday after his parents declined to renew his bail at a closed-door hearing in which a district court imposed fresh conditions to allow him to remain free while awaiting trial.

The new bail conditions were imposed after Yee breached a court order not to post on social media while the case was pending.

Yee, dressed in purple prison attire with his hands and ankles shackled, was freed after Vincent Law, youth and family counsellor who was not previously known to the Yees, posted the Sg$20,000 ($15,000) bail.

Law, 51, a Christian, told reporters of his decision to post bail for the teen that he was “stepping up to say I am not offended” by Yee’s YouTube rant.

In his video Yee compared Lee to Jesus, saying “they are both power-hungry and malicious but deceive others into thinking they are compassionate and kind”.

The slight teenager, who gained attention because of his nonchalant appearance in court, smiled and waved to reporters as he left the district court.

Yee was charged on March 31 with three separate charges, including for actions that hurt religious feelings.

He was also charged with circulating obscene content on his blog — a graphic cartoon of Lee with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — as well as making threatening, abusive or insulting communication.

Lee died on March 23 aged 91 and was cremated on March 29 after a state funeral that saw an unprecedented public outpouring of grief.

If convicted, Yee faces up to three years in jail, a fine, or both for the charge of wounding religious feelings, and up to three months in jail, a fine or both for circulating obscene content.

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