S'pore blogger jailed for racist remarks

S'pore blogger jailed for racist remarks

Summary: Judge who sentenced him to a month's jail stated that propagating an opinion on the Internet is not an unfettered right.

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SINGAPORE--A 27-year-old man charged under the country's Sedition Act for inflammatory remarks against Muslims in his blog, has been sentenced to one month in jail.

According to local media reports, the blogger had pleaded guilty to two charges.

Another Singaporean, hauled up for posting racist remarks on an online forum, was convicted of one charge and sentenced to a day's jail. He was also fined S$5,000 (US$2,972), the maximum penalty under the nation's law.

During the sentencing, Senior District Judge Richard Magnus noted that Singapore's history has demonstrated that race and religion are sensitive issues. He added that the right to propagate an opinion on the Internet is not an unfettered right.

"The right of one person's freedom of expression must always be balanced by the right of another's freedom from offence, and tampered by wider public interest consideration," the judge was quoted in local media reports.

Magnus said the two citizens had "crossed the red line" and deterrent sentences were necessary so that offences as such are contained early.

A third Singaporean faces seven charges under the Sedition Act for posting racist remarks on his blog. His case will be heard on Oct. 26 this year.

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