Amos Yee
Amos Yee in his Facebook post Facebook

A 16 year old blogger, Amos Yee Pang Sang has been given a four week backdated jail sentence for making "making offensive or wounding remarks" against Christianity and for circulating obscene imagery.

He was found guilty on 12 May of making remarks intending to hurt the feelings of Christians in an expletive-laden video and of uploading an obscene image.

A third charge for his statements on the late Lee Kuan Yew, the founder and former Prime Minister of Singapore, in a YouTube video was withdrawn. He is alleged to have uploaded an obscene image of Lee and former UK premier Margaret Thatcher superimposed on it.

Yee plans to appeal against both his conviction and his sentence, his lawyer Alfred Dodwell said.

"Whether this was a crime or not, still remains a question we want to determine in the High Court."
- lawyer Alfred Dodwell

"The journey here has been long and arduous, ridden with lots of obstacles and hurdles. We have confirmed with our client that he wants to appeal against the conviction," Dodwell said, according to ChannelNewsAsia.

"Let's not run away with the idea that just because he's remorseful and stuff, that is in relation to the social context. Whether this was a crime or not, still remains a question we want to determine in the High Court," Dodwell added.

Yee has agreed to go for counselling, his lawyer added.

Yee has been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for the past two weeks to assess his suitability for a mandatory treatment order after a doctor said that Yee may have autism-spectrum disorder. A doctor at the Institute however has disputed this saying that Yee does not have the disorder nor any other mental issues.

The doctor's report noted that from an early age, Yee has been "trapped in the net" and is "unable to discern untruths in cyberspace". The doctor's report also said that Yee has admitted to his guilt and promised not to reoffend as he realised his actions were against the law and could disrupt social harmony.

Yee has been in custody for 50 days, including time spent in the Changi Prison and two weeks at the institute for an assessment.

The Straits Times said that since his arrest, Yee had repeatedly breached bail conditions and refused to speak to a probation officer.

Under the law in Singapore, anyone found guilty of making remarks with the deliberate intention of wounding the feelings of a religious group can be jailed for up to three years or fined or both. Those convicted of electronically transmitting an obscene image can be jailed up to three months or fined, or both.

Yee won competition for short film when he was 13 years old

Yee's mother Mary Toh, 48 said her son is a far cry from who he used to be. She said she is still proud of him, who she described as "a confident, creative child with character."

"But as he has not seen enough of the world, he is not tactful enough in dealing with diverse situations. Many people are also hurt [by him] in one way or another. I'm so sad that I don't know what to say," she said, according to the Straits Times.

This is not the first time Yee has made the headlines in Singapore. When he was just 13 years old, he won two prizes at The New Paper FiRST Film Fest for a three minute short film, which he wrote, shot and also acted in all four roles.

He dropped out of school, saying in a YouTube video that he considered the education system in Singapore irrelevant to learning life skills, saying that he did not enjoy his time at his secondary school, having had "absolutely no friends and ... no one to talk to."

In Singapore, deference is a cultural norm and self-censorship is expected and commonplace.