Singaporeans charged with sedition over evangelical publication

A court has charged a Singaporean couple with sedition for distributing an evangelical Christian publication that cast Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, in a negative light, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Ong Kian Cheong, 49, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, 44, had two charges lodged against them in court on Tuesday — one under the Sedition Act and the other under the Undesirable Publications Act, the Straits Times reported.

Police declined to comment and court officials could not be reached.

The report did not provide details about the couple’s alleged publication but said the couple had distributed it to two people, one in March last year and another in October.

Singapore, a multi-racial island nation, clamps down hard on anyone seen to be inciting communal tensions.

In 2005, two ethnic Chinese men were jailed for anti-Muslim blogs.

The following year, a Singaporean blogger received a stern warning after posting cartoons mocking Jesus Christ on his online journal, police said at the time.

Ethnic Chinese make up a majority of Singapore’s resident population but there are significant numbers of Malay Muslims, ethnic Indians and other groups.

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