A police spokesman said that a 17-year-old has been arrested under Sections 174 and 298 of the Penal Code. Alfred Dodwell has confirmed that the individual arrested by the police is Amos Yee. Amos was convicted at about this time last year for wounding the feelings of Christians and uploading an obscene image. Mr Dodwell, a lawyer, defended him in Court at that time.
Section 174 pertains to failure to attend a session as ordered by public servant, whereas Section 298 involves uttering words with an intent to wound religious and racial feelings.
“The offence under section 298 of the Penal Code relates to online remarks made in November 2015 that contained offensive and disparaging remarks against various religious communities,” said the police spokesman.
Amos was ordered to report to a police station for investigations after the police reports were lodged, but he did not do so.
“The subject disregarded the notice and left the country shortly thereafter, and remained overseas for a prolonged period until his return in April 2016,” said the spokesman.
Upon his return, he was served with a Warrant of Attendance issued by the State Courts to report again, but failed to do so.
The police added that investigations are ongoing.
Mr Dodwell tells this publication that in their investigation, the police has ransacked Amos’ house and has taken away all his electronic devices. Mr Dodwell said that he has not yet decided if he will represent Amos again.
In posts in his Facebook and his blog, Amos had abused former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng, as well as insulted Islam.
On Nov 17 2015, Mr Cheng posted a four-line comment online, which suggested killing the children of terrorists “in case they grow up to take revenge”. A police report was made against the ex-NMP. It is unclear what came out of that police report.
Amos was sentenced to four week’s jail on 6 July 2015, but was released immediately, as he had spent 50 days in remand by then. A subsequent appeal was dismissed by the High Court.
We reported last month that another police report was lodged against Amos Yee by Mohamed Mokhsin. Mokhsin was offended by a photo uploaded by Amos in his Facebook. In the photo he is seen with a shawl over his head, holding up a Quran with one hand and making an extremely rude gesture with another.He captioned the picture: “Research has begun”.
Amos-YeeMokhsin said that the police officer who took his report told him that his report would not be the only one against the blogger. The officer further said, “we need the numbers” in encouraging more reports to be made against Yee.