An immigration Judge in Chicago has granted asylum to a teenage blogger from Singapore who was detained by his government for writing blogs online that criticized the Singapore government.
Since December 2016 Amos Yee had been detained by the US immigration authorities when he was taken custody at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Attorneys said that Amos Yee could be freed from the detention center at Wisconsin very soon.
The 13-page decision was issued by the Judge Samuel Cole after hearing the closed-door application for asylum by Yee for more than two weeks, quotes the Times of India.
Cole wrote that Yee had demonstrated that he suffered persecution in the past owing to his opinion on politics and has a substantial threat of being persecuted in Singapore in the future.
Yee quit Singapore to seek asylum in the US after he was jailed for a couple of months in the years 2015 and 2016. Yee is an atheist and was accused of causing hurt to the religious sentiments of the Christians and Muslims.
On the other hand, many blogs written by Yee were critical of the leaders in Singapore. In 2015 when Singapore was grieving the death of its first Premier, Yee had posted a controversial video about the Prime Minister barely a few hours after the leader’s death.
Singapore discourages the public criticism of the political leaders. Yee’s case for asylum was closely being watched by the global fraternity and had raised questions regarding freedom of speech and censorship.
Cole stated that though Singapore government’s reason for persecuting Yee was based on religion, the real motive was to silence political opinion. He also said that the sentence awarded to Yee was strangely harsh and lengthy considering his age.
Sandra Grossman the Attorney representing Yee’s case said that he was delighted to hear the news of being granted the asylum in the US. She also added that Yee was very thrilled to commence his new life in the US.
Associated Press was reported as saying that Yee had informed in a telephonic interview that he felt that returning to Singapore was dangerous for him. Yee also said that he had a vast range of ideas for his future plans in the US.
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