On Wednesday, British citizen Benjamin Glynn was sentenced to six weeks in jail for breaching Singapore’s strict anti-COVID rules — he refused to wear a mask.
Back in May, Glynn was caught on video riding a train maskless and telling other passengers he would never wear one. He was let out on bail and, at a July 2 court appearance, he showed up without a mask. CNN reports that Glynn was also causing a public nuisance and using threatening words toward public servants.
That resulted in further charges and Glynn, a UK citizen who had been working in Singapore, was then taken into custody in mid-July, pending trial on August 18.
At the one-day trial this week, Glynn represented himself and said he was a “living man” who had not signed a contract to wear a mask. To this, Judge Eddy Tham reportedly responded, “It is obvious to everyone in this courtroom that you are a living person.”
As Channel News Asia reports, the judge further told Glynn that he was “completely misguided” in his belief that he was exempt from Singapore’s laws on wearing masks. At the end of the trial, which included unruly behavior by a woman who also refused to wear a mask and claimed she was a “living, breathing woman,” the judge announced the six-week sentence.
Judge Tham backdated Glynn’s sentence to July 19, when the country first took him into custody. Glynn was also released for having served two-thirds of his sentence and is being scheduled for deportation. In addition to deportation, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it has “permanently banned” Glynn from working in Singapore.
Singapore’s strict COVID protocols don’t go unnoticed, and they are known for jailing and fining others for not obeying their strict protocols when it comes to COVID. In February, another British man was jailed for two weeks for sneaking out to meet his fiance while in quarantine.