Teenage blogger Amos Yee was sentenced to six weeks’ jail on Thursday (Sep 29), after he pleaded guilty to six charges for wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims.
The 17-year-old was also ordered to pay a fine of S$2,000 for defying two notices to turn up at a police station to give his statement.
“(Yee) is not lacking in his mental capacity to make rational choices in the way he conducts himself,” Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun said, adding that he “deliberately elected to do harm by using offensive and insulting words and profane gestures to hurt the feelings of Christians and Muslims”.
The blogger’s “contemptuous and irreverent remarks” undermines the religious harmony in Singapore, and his conduct “should not be condoned or tolerated”, the judge said.
Judge Ong also said he hoped the punishment, while not overly harsh, would be enough to deter Yee from re-offending. “Hopefully we will not have (Yee) appearing again in this court for the same offence in the future,” the judge said, referring to Yee’s previous conviction.
Yee was sentenced in July 2015 to four weeks’ jail for the same offence. In total, he spent more than a month – about 50 days – in prison, after repeatedly breaching bail conditions.
For intending to wound religious feelings, Yee could have been jailed for up to three years, fined for each charge or both. For failing to show up at a police station, Yee could have been jailed for one month, fined up to S$1,500 per charge or both.