HONG KONG - Some 50 people protested outside the building housing the Singapore Consulate in Hong Kong yesterday (Sunday), demanding the immediate release of teen blogger Amos Yee, who has been convicted of uploading an obscene image and making remarks intended to hurt the feelings of Christians in Singapore.
The 16-year-old, who is in remand in a mental health institution since his conviction, is due to be sentenced today (Monday).
The South China Morning Post reported yesterday that the protesters held banners and placards that read "Dissident is not Demented" and "Freedom of Speech should not be infringed". They also burnt effigies of the late prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Among the protesters was Mr Goh Meng Seng, a 45-year-old Singaporean who lives in Hong Kong, according to the newspaper.
"I don't like Amos because he's rude in the Singapore context. But I have to defend his rights," he was quoted as saying.
Mr Goh, who called the teenager's treatment "horrible", said he was in the process of forming a new opposition party, the People Power party.
"If the government can do such a thing to a 16-year-old kid, they can do it to an adult too," he said. "Anyone in the opposition camp should be prepared for that."
Yesterday's protest was the second in the territory in support of the teenager. The Hong Kong University (HKU) Students' Union organised the first one on June 30 that saw about 50 to 60 students gathered outside the Singapore Consulate.
A small protest has also taken place in Taipei in support of the teenager. Sixty people from more than 10 civil society groups under the banner of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights protested for half an hour outside the Singapore Trade Office on June 26.