Hong Kong student group Scholarism has urged the Singapore government to release teenage blogger Amos Yee, who was last month convicted for posting a controversial video attacking late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and deliberately hurting the feeling of Christians in a YouTube video criticising the late Mr Lee.
The 16-year-old is currently remanded for two weeks at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) to undergo psychiatric examination.
The group condemned the Singapore government for remanding Yee because of one video and fails to allow dissidents and different voices.
The Singapore government detained a teenager because of one video. This only shows Singapore, a so-called modernised society, fails to allow dissidents and different voices.
It said that under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, young people’s freedom of speech should be protected from government infringements.
In a seperate Facebook post, the Hong Kong University Students’ Union (HKUSU) said: “Any act of trampling human rights and manipulating the freedom of thought must be condemned.”
Scholarism, HKUSU and and Lingnan University Students’ Union will stage a petition outside the Singaporean consulate in Admiralty today afternoon (30th June) to call for Yee’s immediate release.
Solidarity Gathering for Amos Yee planned in Penang
A “Solidarity Gathering for Amos Yee” has also been planned for tomorrow (1st July) at Penang Speakers’ Square in Penang, malaysia.
In a Facebook post, the organiser said that “expression is not a crime and nobody should face inhuman treatment or torture for criticising the government.
Taiwan’s NGO staged similar protest
Earlier on 26th June, Taiwan’s Covenant Watch Group together with a number of non-governmental organisations [Link] organised a protest outside the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei.
They were protesting against the continued detention of Amos Yee. Representatives from the various organisations of Taiwanese civil society are demanding his immediate release.
During the demonstration, a letter of protest was handed to the Singapore Trade Office. Sean Bai, Senior Assistant Trade Representative, accepted the letter on behalf of the trade office. In response to media query, Mr Bai said that the matter is currently under judicial review and declined comment.
The Covenants Watch Group said that it had specifically chosen this day, 26 June, to act in support of Yee, as it is the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
The group felt that no person should be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, especially not for someone who is still a child.
Additionally, the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and Bangkok-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have also called for Yee’s immediate release.
The Singapore government has so far remained absolutely silent.