AT THE COURTS

Probation for man who posted anti-Islam remarks online

Police received 62 reports from members of the public who felt threatened by his posts

A youth who posted anti-Islam remarks on social media platform Instagram was sentenced to 18 months' probation yesterday.

As part of his probation, Chinese national Sun Sicong, now 21, has to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am every day and perform 60 hours of community service. His parents also put up a bond of $5,000 to ensure his good behaviour.

The Temasek Polytechnic (TP) student, who is a Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty last month to uploading online remarks with the intention of wounding the religious feelings of others.

He committed the offence between 2018 and 2019.

Two other charges, including one count of harassment, were considered during sentencing.

Initially, no police reports were filed over the offensive Insta-story posts on Sun's Instagram account.

The court heard that Insta-story posts are automatically deleted after 24 hours.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Senthilkumaran Sabapathy had told the court: "The offensive posts, however, resurfaced online some time around June 7, 2020, after the accused created and uploaded online further insensitive Insta-story posts... containing a screenshot of a rape victim's recount of her rape ordeal along with (lewd and obscenity-laden) comments."

Other Instagram users became upset when they saw Sun's posts and responded to him.

They then referred to screenshots of his earlier anti-Islam posts, which went viral soon after.

The posts were widely disseminated over the Internet and police later received 62 reports from members of the public who felt threatened and alarmed after seeing the anti-Islam posts.

In an earlier statement, the police said that in June 2020, they received "many reports regarding an Instagram user who had posted insensitive comments and threats that could incite violence against the Muslim community".

The police added that the posts contained hate comments that could wound religious feelings.

Earlier, TP told The Straits Times that Sun had been suspended for two consecutive semesters following investigations in June 2020.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2022, with the headline Probation for man who posted anti-Islam remarks online. Subscribe