Man arrested for Facebook comments on Benjamin Lim case
Police have arrested a 40-year-old Singaporean man for posting comments on Facebook inciting others to commit violence.
The comments were made in response to a news article on Benjamin Lim, a teenager who took his life on Jan 26 after being questioned by police for the alleged molest of an 11-year-old girl.
In his post, the man allegedly wrote: "Please reveal the identity of the 5 plain clothes officers and we go handle them ourselves. Kill them."
The police had sent five officers to Benjamin's school as CCTV footage showed the suspect was wearing his school's uniform. At the school, the officers showed staff the image from the CCTV and they established that the suspect was Benjamin.
After Benjamin had given his statement to the police, he returned home with his mother, but killed himself a few hours later.
On Feb 8, police received a report about the Facebook post.
They established the identity of the Facebook user and arrested him on Wednesday (March 2) for the offence of Communicating an Electronic Record Containing Incitements to Violence.
Investigations are ongoing. If found guilty, he can be jailed for up to five years and fined.
Benjamin's case was brought up in parliament on Tuesday (March 1).
Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam and Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng answered a barrage of questions from MPs and explained the rationale behind the police's and school's actions in Benjamin's case.
Mr Shanmugam said there is nothing to suggest that Benjamin was mistreated by the police, based on the facts so far.
In seven out of 10 cases, youths would only be warned, placed on a guidance programme or have no action taken against them, he said.
"Where possible, the police try to avoid criminalising the conduct," he said.
"It is likely that on the evidence available to us, Benjamin would have received no more than a warning."