At first glance, 16-year-old Amos Yee seems timid, naïve, almost oblivious to what he did: Challenge the very foundations of Singapore and its revered founder.
But within five minutes, Yee deliberately and clearly articulates why he believes his blog posts are worth jail time.
“I feel like I’m the one who’s actually supposed to break that boundary so that other people will be able to talk about things in an honest way and discuss about it, which I feel is really important,” says Yee, during an exclusive interview with CNN, while seated in his family’s flat in Singapore.
In July, Yee was released from prison after 53 days, after being convicted on charges of obscenity and “wounding of religious feelings.”
Lee Kuan Yew: The man behind Singapore’s success
Lee Kuan Yew: The man behind Singapore’s success 02:11
The charges stem from a video rant posted by this precocious teenager who was rallying against his country’s lack of free speech and its beloved former leader. In it, he speaks directly into a camera, expressing his outrage.
“Because everyone is scared, everyone is afraid that if they say something like that they may get into trouble and give Lee Kuan Yew credit that was primarily the impact of his legacy,” states Yee in this somewhat tame excerpt from his blog post in March.