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Teenage Singapore blogger released

July 6, 2015

A court in Singapore has sentenced a teenage blogger to four weeks in jail for posting offensive images online. However, the court released him after taking into account time already spent in custody.

Singapur Blogger Amos Yee
Image: GettyImages/AFP/R.Rahman

Singapore District Court Judge Jasvender Kaur on Monday sentenced 16-year-old Amos Lee to a total of four weeks in prison.

Yee was given one week for distributing an obscene image, for a drawing that he posted on his blog depicting Singapore's founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a compromising position back in March, shortly after Lee had died.

He got three weeks for wounding religious feelings in a YouTube video that was laden with expletives and in which he compared Lee to Jesus.

The judge backdated the sentences to June 2, when Yee was already in custody after having violated the terms of his probation.

Judge Kaur said the offences that Yee had been convicted of "were not serious in nature but not trivial either."

Under Singaporean law, Yee could have faced a much longer period behind bars. The maximum penalty for wounding racial or religious feelings in the city-state is three years, while a conviction for distributing an obscene image can carry up to three months in jail.

The case has generated renewed public awareness about the state of freedom of speech in Singapore, drawing criticism from international human rights groups and the United Nations Human Rights Office.

Lee's lawyer has said that he intends to appeal the verdict.

pfd/jil (dpa, Reuters, AFP)