Amos Yee was arrested on Sunday for posting a video of him criticizing the late Lee Kuan Yew. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) based in New York has issued a statement to urge the immediate release of the teen by authorities. A minimum of 20 complaints were filed over the weekend according to the Singapore Police Force. Those complaints wanted the police to investigate Amos Yee over the offensive material made in his 8-minute video on Youtube.
The video is titled, “Lee Kuan Yew is Finally Dead!” and has since been removed from Amos Yee’s Youtube page.
In the video, Amos Yee compared LKY to such figures as Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Jesus Christ.
The SPF has said that Yee’s arrest was a result of his comments on Christianity. He will be given 3 charges for harassment, distribution of obscene images and wounding the feelings of Christians.
CPJ’s Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz, said:
“The arrest of a young blogger for comments in a video highlights the restrictive environment in which Singaporean journalist are forced to work. We call on authorities to release Amos Yee immediately and to undertake reform of Singapore’s outdated laws restricting the media.”
CPJ reports that Singapore regulations have been trying to muffle online news sources lately. Bloggers known for dissent, curiosity and critical thinking have faced endless lawsuits in an attempt to smudge them out. In Singapore, however, bloggers play an important role as a majority of the nation’s media outlets are tied to the state either directly, or indirectly, one way or another. As a result, self-censorship in blogging is commonplace, but it also why it is that much more important to stand behind those who choose to speak truth to power.