Subject : The Singapore Government Should Revoke The Charges Against Under Age Child
To : H.E. Ambassador Of Singapore to Indonesia
Embassy of Republic of Singapore
Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said
Blok X/4, KAV No 2
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan 12950
Tel : +62-21 29950400
Fax : +62-21 5201486
The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) – a human rights non-governmental organization based in Indonesia – would like to urge the government of Singapore to revoke the charges against the under age child, Amos Yee regarding the criticism video on Youtube about Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship records.
The lodging of police reports and subsequent arrest of Yee is a sign that the suppression of free speech during Lee's time in power has continued as a part of government in Singapore. Singapore is known for measures viewed by critics as strict limits on expression. Lee Kuan Yew is protected to critics. Section 298 and 292 of the country's penal code limiting the freedom of expression and 20.000 SGD charges. Most of the local television channel is under the government control and there is a minimum press liberality.
We really concern how the government police and Singaporean treating Amos Yee as an adult, however Amos Yee is still a child and it is pointed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child article 40 regarding the protection of every children infringed with penal law. He should have a fair protection and the Judges at the court should think about the charges to the under age children carefully.
Amos Yee is actually just trying to express his point of view to critics Lee Kuan Yew leadership style. How the citizens of developed nations in the twenty first century is do not need the freedom of expression as long as they obey the government because the government had given them a good condition of life. However, freedom of expression is actually a basic attribute of political health. Amos Yee, the seventeen years old child had realize that Singaporean had turn into a population molded into sheep-like complaisance is ideologically vulnerable.
Amos Yee's way to express his opinion about the government might be hard. But it is not a hate speech, it is purely an expression of a young citizen and the government should appreciate and made it as an evaluation to the future government. Singapore has not ratified the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, however on that Covenant regulated the rights of the citizen and the obligation to the state to protect their people rights. On the ICCPR there is an article regarding the freedom of expression (article 19). Singapore should not only provide democracy but also a human rights value in the country. Therefore, by this letter we would like the Singaporean government to
1. Giving more space to the Singaporean to express their opinion and critics to the government as their political rights and take the critics as an evaluation and reflection to the better government.
2. Stop the charges to the under age children and make some alternative charges that also could educate the teenager of how to express an opinion and critics wisely.
We believe that the Singaporean government is really understand the elements of the rights and the important of it for their people. Thank you so much for your consideration.
Haris Azhar, MA
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