Yee was convicted in May on two criminal charges: wounding religious feelings in an expletive-laden video comparing Lee Kuan Yew to Jesus, and circulating an obscene cartoon of the ex- prime minister, who died in March. He also posted on his blog a lewd image in which the faces of Lee and late British politician Margaret Thatcher were superimposed.
District Court judge Jasvender Kaur backdated the sentence to June 2, when Yee was already in remand, saying the offences “were not serious in nature but not trivial either”.
The blogger is expected to appeal his convictions, his lawyer said.
The case against Amos Yee, a 16-year-old Singaporean, had attracted worldwide attention and was seen as an early test of Singapore’s strict controls on online speech following the death of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Yee, who had started a hunger strike, was sent to hospital because of his low blood sugar level.
Under Singapore’s law, 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.
Rights groups criticised the city-state for arresting Yee and sympathisers staged rallies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan to demand the boy’s freedom ahead of the sentencing.
“We can make every claim to encourage independence of thought and creativity, but if our actions reveal an inability to tolerate non-conformists, young people will view our exhortations to speak up as mere platitudes”, they said.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also urged Yee’s release, noting that it would be in line with Singapore’s commitment under the UN Convention on the Rights of Child. He said they had been unreasonable and overly harsh from the outset.
They noted that the teenager has removed the offending materials.
“While he’s remorseful for his actions which may have caused social disharmony, that doesn’t amount to a crime”, Dodwell said.
The case is Public Prosecutor v Amos Yee, MAC902694/2015.
Amnesty global last week said it considered the teenager “a prisoner of conscience, held exclusively for exercising his right to freedom of expression”.