The United Nations (UN)’s recent comment on the Amos Yee’s on-going trial is in Contempt of Court under the newly-legislated Singapore law. Under the criminal statute, comments on an on-going trial amounts to prejudicing the court and the UN face a maximum of S$100,000 fine and 3 years’ jail. However, the Singapore government has not charged the UN’s Singapore office yet.
UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, said:
“The tolerance and the rights of others are legitimate aims for any state to pursue. However, the criminalisation of a broad range of legitimate, even if offensive, expression is not the right tool for this purpose, and may well have the opposite effect.”
The United Nations is hence currently the first offender of the new law but the Singapore government is unlikely to take any actions against the “heavyweight” organisation as the authoritarian regime is trying to maintain its image.
Amos Yee is currently facing 8 charges from failing to obey police’s orders to sedition charges over his expression of atheist views on religions.