British man jailed for refusing to wear mask to be deported from Singapore

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British man jailed for refusing to wear mask to be deported from Singapore

A British man who was jailed in Singapore for refusing to wear a mask, claiming to be a sovereign citizen not subject to any country’s laws, will be deported, according to reports.

The Singapore Prison Service said that Benjamin Glynn was released after being sentenced to six weeks in prison and transferred to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, which will make “arrangement” to boot him from the country, Channel News Asia reported Thursday.

“ICA will be making arrangements for his deportation,” said the spokesperson.

Glynn, 41, was found guilty on four charges in May of not wearing a mask on a train and while in a court appearance in July, according to Reuters. Along with the COVID-19 precaution violations, the Brit was reportedly found guilty of causing a public nuisance. 

Glynn made his own bizarre defense after his purported lawyer didn’t have a license to practice law in the country, according to the Channel News Asia report. He insisted he was not subject to the law, citing he’s a “living man” or sovereign citizen and didn’t consent to being subject to a mask mandate, the outlet reported.

An unidentified woman who went to Glynn’s court hearing Wednesday disrupted them and was told by a judge to exit the courtroom, according to Channel News Asia. Before being escorted out of the courtroom, she reportedly railed against the “ridiculous kangaroo court.”

People wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of covid19 are seen on a train in Singapore.
Singapore will be tightening its Covid-19 restrictions from May 16 to June 13 due to the rise of Covid-19 cases in the community. During this time, only groups of 2 people outside will be allowed, malls and attractions are to reduce capacity, and dining-in at eateries are prohibited.
Singapore’s strict COVID-19 laws also jailed a man trying to see his fiancee during his mandated quarantine.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

A spokesperson for the State Courts told Chanel News Asia in a statement that they referred the matter to the police.

“Trials and hearings which are held in open court are open to the public,” the spokesperson reportedly said. “However, those attending must at all times observe court etiquette and decorum.”

“They must act appropriately, show the court proper respect and comply with the judge’s directions,” the statement went on. “Anyone who misbehaves, disrupts court proceedings or fails to comply with the judge’s directions or court rules may be required to leave the courtroom. In appropriate cases, the offending person may also be reported to the police.”

This is not the first time a foreign national has been punished for breaking COVID-19 precautions. A Singapore court in February sentenced a British man to two weeks in jail after he violated his mandated quarantined by sneaking out of a hotel to meet with his fiancée, according to Reuters.

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