Singapore Set to Free Teenage Blogger Who Criticized Lee Kuan Yew


Amos Yee, 16, leaving court in Singapore in May after his conviction on charges of obscenity and insulting religious feelings.

Roslan Rahman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — A teenage blogger who was convicted of two charges after criticizing Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore, was expected to be released Monday after a court sentenced him to four weeks’ detention, which he has already served.

Amos Yee, 16, brought international attention to Singapore’s tight restrictions on speech after he posted an eight-minute video celebrating Mr. Lee’s death in March. He was convicted of hurting religious feelings for comparing Mr. Lee’s supporters unfavorably to Christians, and of obscenity for posting an image that depicted Mr. Lee and Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister, engaged in a sex act.

A judge ordered in June that Mr. Yee undergo a psychiatric examination after a doctor’s report suggested he could have autism spectrum disorder. He faced the possibility of mandatory psychological treatment, but the examination concluded that he had no mental disorder.

Prosecutors dropped their call for reformative training, a form of discipline for juveniles similar to detention that could last at least 18 months, after Mr. Yee agreed in writing to remove the video and the image. He also agreed not to post them again.

Alfred Dodwell, a lawyer for Mr. Yee, said his client intended to appeal his conviction, Channel NewsAsia in Singapore reported.

Mr. Yee has already spent more than 50 days in detention, and human rights groups have called his treatment excessively harsh for a teenager convicted of a nonviolent crime. Last week Amnesty International called for his release, deeming him a prisoner of conscience. “He has been held for nothing but exercising his right to freedom of expression,” the group said.

Human Rights Watch has also called for his release, and protesters in Singapore and Hong Kong have held rallies in support of the teenager.

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