Statement on the judicial treatment of Amos Yee

Function 8 regrets and deplores the manner in which Amos Yee, aged 16, is being treated by our judicial system.

Amos Yee was arrested on 29 March 2015 and interrogated for two days before being charged in court for insulting Christianity, publishing an obscene sketch and hurting the feelings of a family. The last charge was withdrawn after his conviction on 8 May. Though convicted, Amos Yee has not been sentenced. His days in remand for the purpose of reformative training and mandatory treatment reports have, to date, exceeded any prison sentence that would have been imposed on an adult who is found guilty of such crimes. By 6 July, when Amos Yee completes his two weeks of remand in the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), he will have served 53 days (including 2 days under interrogation) in remand.

We view with alarm and dismay the manner in which our judiciary deals with the issue of bail, raising bail bond from $10,000 to $20,000 and $30,000 and then reverting to $10,000 without any justifiable reason. The imposition of onerous conditions such that he has to remove his published video and sketch and is prohibited from posting materials on the Internet before trial amounts to a forced admission of guilt. Such conditions have nothing to do with the likelihood of Amos Yee absconding bail which is the sole reason for bail pending trial.

We are also deeply disappointed that our judicial system does not take into consideration Amos Yee’s age and the nature of the offence when considering sentence. If imprisonment is not a suitable sentence, then being in remand in prison and the IMH for 53 days is punishment worse than serving a prison sentence.

Finally and most importantly, we view with deep concern the fast deteriorating physical and mental health of Amos Yee throughout the period of remand. We are informed that in Changi Prison, he suffered from insomnia, harboured thoughts of suicide and lost his interest in books and conversations with his cell mates. In the IMH, he is confined to a small and dirty cell with noisy inmates in the neighbouring cells. The conditions are worse than those in the Changi Prison. He has now lost his appetite for food and continues to suffer from depression.

Amos Yee has not committed any violent crime. He is just a precocious teenager exercising his constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. Fifty-three days in remand is unacceptable pre-sentence punishment. The rightful and legitimate place for this 16-year-old boy is to be at home with his parents, relatives and friends, and not the IMH. We call for the immediate release of Amos Yee.

Function 8
27 June 2015

声明

八号功能组织对年仅16岁的余澎杉所遭受的司法制裁,深表遗憾并给予谴责。
余澎杉于3月30日被逮捕,经过两天审讯后,法院判定他蓄意诋毁基督教教义,散布淫亵图片,并伤害某一家族成员的感情。但是,控方于5月8日案件审结后,申请撤销最后一项控状。案件虽然审结了,但尚未下判。为了等待监狱署的报告,评估他是否适合送往青年改造所;他被还押扣留,而还押期至今比任何监狱署对任何成年人所犯同等罪行的刑期还要长。余澎杉被令送往新加坡心理健康学院还押14天至2015年7月6为止;届时,包括前期2天的审讯,他总共被监禁的时间将达53天之久。

我们对司法机构处理余澎杉的保释金问题深感惊讶,他们在没有合理的情况下,将保释金从1万元调高至2万元及3万元,然后 又降回原定的1万元。余澎杉被令撤下他已制作并发表的涉案图样与视频 ,同时在案件判决前不得在社交网站任意贴文。原本当局取保候审的唯一理由是为了确保余澎杉不会潜逃保释;然而,向他施加如此苛刻的条件不外是要他强硬认罪,与余澎杉是否会潜逃保释完全毫无关系!

司法制度在审讯案件时没有充分考虑余澎杉的年齡,及其罪状的性质,我们对此也深表失望。如果监禁的刑罚对该少年是不宜的判决;那么,心理健康学院里的53天还押,诚然比监狱服刑的判决更加蛮横。

最后也是最重要的一点是,我们对余澎杉在还押期间身体和心理健康状况的迅速恶化表示深切关心。我们得悉,余澎杉在漳宜监狱期间,曾经出现如下症状:失眠、自杀念头、对阅读失去兴趣、与室友无意交谈等等。在心理健康学院期间,他被关在一间又脏又小的囚室,周遭则是凌乱嘈杂的环境,比漳宜监狱的条件更糟糕。目前,他仍然患有抑郁症,时常没有口味。

余澎杉并没有任何暴力罪行,他只是个早熟的少年,履行其宪法权限内所允许的言论和表达自由。当局对他在判刑前施予53天的还押囚禁,这是不能接受的。这位16岁少年应该去的正当地方不应该是精神病房,而是他自己的家庭,和家长、亲戚、朋友们在一起。我们呼吁当局立即释放余澎杉.

八号功能 (Function 8)
2015年6月27日

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