Singapore's teen blogger faces probation offensive postings

Singapore: A Singaporean teen blogger was on Tuesday put under probation for insulting Christianity in a video monologue and circulating an obscene image of city-state's late founding father Lee Kuan Yew.

Amos Yee Pang Sang, 16, had pleaded not guilty to both charges on May 7. No witness took the stand during the trial. The charges related to a graphic image of Lee and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher that the teenager posted on his blog, and a video monologue which he uploaded after the death of Singapore's patriarch on March 23.

Judge Jasvender Kaur has called for a pre-sentence report that will be presented on June 2. Yee, his parents and schools will be interviewed as part of the report.

Kaur met in her chambers the defence lawyer, the prosecution and Yee's parents and reached an agreement that the teen should be under probation. His bail amount has been reduced to SGD 10,000 from SGD 30,000 and the prohibition for him to post stuff has been lifted. However, Yee has to remove his YouTube video and an image deemed offensive.

Earlier in the day, Kaur said standards of obscenity will change from time to time, and differ among countries. It was up to the courts to decide based on community standards.

In considering whether the image Yee uploaded was obscene, she considered the effect of the image on teenagers who were the likely viewers of Yee's blog - whether parents would approve of their teenage daughter or son viewing it, or if teachers would approve of their students viewing it. However, Yee has to remove his YouTube video and an image deemed offensive.

Earlier in the day, Kaur said standards of obscenity will change from time to time, and differ among countries. It was up to the courts to decide based on community standards.

In considering whether the image Yee uploaded was obscene, she considered the effect of the image on teenagers who were the likely viewers of Yee's blog - whether parents would approve of their teenage daughter or son viewing it, or if teachers would approve of their students viewing it.

It would meet the "strongest possible disapproval and condemnation", said the judge. On the second charge of making remarks intending to hurt the feelings of Christians, she said Yee's remarks were "clearly derogatory and offensive to Christians," The Straits Times reported.

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