Man held over Facebook post inciting violence

Police arrested a 40-year-old man yesterday for posting comments on Facebook urging others to commit violence.
Police arrested a 40-year-old man yesterday for posting comments on Facebook urging others to commit violence. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

Police arrested a 40-year-old man yesterday for posting comments on Facebook urging others to commit violence.

In a press release yesterday, police said they received a report on Feb 8 regarding a post made by a Facebook user which included the comment: "Please reveal the identity of the (five) plain-clothes officers and we go handle them ourselves. Kill them."

The comment was posted in response to a news article on the death of 14-year-old Benjamin Lim, who had been questioned by police for outrage of modesty.

The Secondary 3 student was found dead at the foot of his HDB block in Yishun on Jan 26 at 4.20pm, several hours after officers in plain clothes had taken him from North View Secondary School to be questioned at the Ang Mo Kio Police Division.

Police established the identity of the Facebook user believed to have posted the comment online and arrested the Singaporean man yesterday for the alleged offence of communicating an electronic record containing incitements to violence.

The suspect, who was not named by the police, has taken down the comment and his Facebook page.

Investigations are ongoing and, if convicted, he faces a maximum jail term of five years, a fine or both.

On Tuesday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam told Parliament that there was no basis to link the teenager's suicide to the way police investigated allegations that he had molested a girl.

He also slammed "deliberate falsehoods" that had been spread implying that the police had intimidated Benjamin into confessing, taking particular aim at socio-political blog The Online Citizen.

The police are reviewing their procedures for interviewing minors to see if an appropriate adult can be present.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'Man held over Facebook post inciting violence'. Print Edition | Subscribe