Jesus cartoons could draw jail for Singapore blogger

Wednesday, 14 June 2006 - 10:49am IST | Agency: AFP

A Singaporean blogger is under investigation for posting cartoons mocking Christ and could be jailed up to three years.

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean blogger is under investigation for posting cartoons mocking Jesus Christ and could be jailed up to three years, the police said on Wednesday.   

A police spokesman declined to give details about the suspect, who was described by the Straits Times as a 21-year-old office worker with his own blog. His race and religion were not disclosed.   

The blogger, who described himself as a "free thinker," had first posted a cartoon depicting Jesus Christ as a zombie biting a boy's head in January, the Straits Times said.   

He ignored an online message asking for the cartoon's removal and went on to post more caricatures of Christ to spite the sender.   

"I never thought anyone would complain to the police because the pictures were not insidious," he told the newspaper, adding the cartoons have already been removed from his site.   

He was called in by police in March and the investigation is ongoing.    "It is a serious offence for any person to distribute or reproduce any seditious publication which may cause feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes," said a police statement sent to AFP.   

Singapore, a multi-racial island nation, clamps down hard on anyone inciting communal tensions. Two ethnic Chinese men were jailed last year for anti-Muslim blogs.   

Ethnic Chinese make up 76 per cent of Singapore's resident population of 3.4 million with Malay Muslims accounting for 13.7 per cent followed by ethnic Indians, Eurasians and other racial groups.   

Under the Sedition Act, offenders may be liable to imprisonment of up to three years or a fine not more than 5,000 Singapore (3,144 US) dollars or both.   

Censors last month barred viewers below 16 years of age from watching "The Da Vinci Code" because they were afraid some children might see it as a factual movie.   

The blockbuster film poses the explosive idea that Jesus Christ married his follower Mary Magdalene and started a blood line that still exists in secret. 

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