SINGAPORE - The assault on teen blogger Amos Yee is "unacceptable", said Law Minister K Shanmugam.
Mr Shanmugam, who is also Foreign Affairs Minister, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday: "Amos Yee was assaulted as he was going to court today. That is quite unacceptable."
He added: "People may have strong feelings about Amos (or anyone else who is charged). But we have to leave it to the courts to deal with them. Taking the law into one's own hands cannot be condoned."
The 16-year-old was struck on the face by a man when he arrived at court for a pre-trial conference on Thursday afternoon. The man was caught on camera, but quickly fled while shouting: "Sue me, come and sue me."
Mr Shanmugam wrote: "Rule of Law means respecting the legal process. If everyone starts taking the law into his or her own hands, then we will no longer be a civilised society.
"I hope that the attacker will be caught quickly, and is dealt with appropriately."
Yee was charged on March 31 with attacking Christianity, transmitting an obscene image and making an online video containing remarks about the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew that offended viewers.
The prosecution has, for now, stood down the charge that Yee made an online video which included offensive remarks about Mr Lee. It will proceed with charges of him attacking Christianity and transmitting an obscene image.
During his pre-trial conference on Thursday, which was held in chambers, judge Kessler Soh had asked him to take down his latest blog posts titled "The Ridiculous Terms of my Bail" and "My Abusive Father".
The two blog posts, which he put up on Wednesday and shared on his Facebook page on Thursday, breached bail conditions that prevented him from doing so.
His bailor, family and youth counsellor Vincent Law, decided to discharge himself.
He told The Straits Times that he was forced to do this because Yee refused to comply with bail conditions.
Yee was sent back to remand in Changi Prison on Thursday.