Protesters in Hong Kong demand release of Singaporean teen Amos Yee
Some 50 people from different civic and political groups have protested outside the commercial building in Admiralty where the Singapore Consulate is located, demanding the immediate release of teen blogger Amos Yee, who had been convicted on charges related to posting a video attacking the late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Their campaign came a day ahead of the expected sentencing of Yee, 16, who is now remanded in a mental health institution after his conviction.
Holding banners and placards that read "Dissident is not Demented" and "Freedom of Speech should not be infringed", they also burned effigies of Lee.
Representatives from different groups took turns to express their anger over Yee's "highly disturbing" treatment.
"Amos Yee is probably the youngest prisoner of conscience; that is much more outstanding than Singapore's performance in economy development," said Mabel Au Mei-po from Amnesty International.
"I don't like Amos because he's rude in the Singapore context. But I have to defend his rights," said Goh Meng Seng, 45, a Singaporean who travels and lives in Hong Kong.
Goh, who criticised the governmental act as "horrible", is in the process of forming a new opposition party, the People Power party.
"If the government can do such thing to a 16-year-old kid, they can do it to an adult too," Goh said. "Anyone in the opposition camp should be prepared for that."
Yee was earlier found guilty of two criminal charges.
He was convicted of having hurt religious feelings in a video posted after Lee’s death on March 23. He likened Singapore’s first prime minister to Jesus in an expletive-laden monologue.
He was also found guilty of circulating obscene content – a graphic cartoon involving Lee and late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.