03/31/2015, 00.00
SINGAPORE
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Singapore: Teenager on trial for "insulting the memory of Lee Kuan Yew". Risks three years

Amos Yee, 16, will be tried as an adult and will also respond to charges of having insulted Christianity. He was released on bail and his father has appealed to the Lee family. He posted a video that has provoked outrage among citizens. A Christian has launched an online petition for the teenagers release.

Singapore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A young man in Singapore has been charged and is likely to end up in prison for posting a video critical of Lee Kuan Yew, the historical founder of the city-state who died last 23 March at the age of 91 years.

The 16 year old Amos Yee, who will be tried as an adult, will have to respond to the allegations of offenses and defamation against the Christian religion. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison; his father outside the court has repeatedly apologized to the Lee family and apologize for his son, and current prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

Yee was arrested last March 29, when a state funeral of Lee Kuan Yew had just concluded.  Lee was the controversial "father-master" of Singapore, who was able to transform - not without criticism and authoritarian tendencies - the city-state as a model for Asia. The young man was then released on bail on payment of 15 thousand dollars.

The video, which lasts about eight minutes, caused a strong wave of discontent among the citizens of Singapore, mourning the death of their founder. Yee’s video led to 20 complaints to the police, confirming the climate of idolatry that revolves around the figure of Lee.

On the contrary, Amos Yee celebrated the death of Lee and criticized the strict control imposed on Singapore over the years, calling him a "horrible" person. The 16 year old also added that citizens are afraid to express the slightest criticism of Lee, and went on to compare him in a derogatory way to Jesus Christ. This has led to another charge of offense to the Christian religion.

Given the wave of criticism and accusations Yee removed the video from the web. However, it had already been shared by other users and began to circulate. Now he will face charges of "deliberate intention" to hurt religious and racial sentiments and the distribution of obscene material.

Meanwhile, a Christian from Singapore has launched an online petition for the release of Amos Yee and his acquittal of all charges.

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