Skip to main content

US judge grants asylum to Singapore teen blogger

Yee shocked Singaporeans by posting videos deemed insulting to religious groups [AFP]
A Singaporean teenage blogger who was jailed twice for his online posts insulting his government was granted asylum to remain in the United States, an immigration judge in Chicago ruled.

Amos Yee was jailed in 2015 for four weeks for hurting the religious feelings of Christians and posting an obscene image as part of his attacks on the island's late leader Lee Kuan Yew - whose son Lee Hsien Loong is now the prime minister.

He was jailed again in 2016 for six weeks for insulting Muslims and Christians in a series of videos posted online, but critics claim the real reason was to silence him.

Judge Samuel Cole issued a 13-page decision on Friday, more than two weeks after Yee's closed-door hearing on the asylum application. 

"Yee has met his burden of showing that he suffered past persecution on account of his political opinion and has a well-founded fear of future persecution in Singapore," Cole wrote.

Cole said testimony during Yee's hearing showed that while the Singapore government's stated reason for punishing him involved religion, "its real purpose was to stifle Yee's political speech".

He said Yee's prison sentence was "unusually long and harsh" especially for his age.

Department of Homeland Security attorneys had opposed the asylum bid, saying Yee's case didn't qualify as persecution based on political beliefs.

It was unclear whether they would appeal the decision or if Yee would have to remain imprisoned if they did. Attorneys have 30 days to appeal.

Singapore, an island republic of 5.6 million which has long been been criticised for strict controls on dissent, takes pride in its racial and social cohesion, which it regards as essential for stability in a volatile region.


Source: News agencies

Comments

TRENDING

Must Read : Radio & TV Host Anita Erskine Pens Down A Letter To Rashida Black Beauty

We woke up to this masterpiece online, a LETTER of Starr FM’s award-winning media queen and Women’s advocate, Anita Erskine has written a letter to Rashida Black Beauty .. Just like a carousel, the maiden is still in her spinning stage and like mother eagle, Anita sees the future that Rashida someday can become a fabric of a building, thus, she wants her to, “…come and let’s talk – one on one.”

Serena Williams explains why she chose to marry a White man

A lot of Black people have criticized tennis champion Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams for marrying and dating White men, instead of sticking with Black brothers. The mother-of-one has now explained her reason for marrying Alexis Ohanian.

Akufo-Addo's presidential kiss with wife Rebecca Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered the 2019 State of the Nation Address on Thursday, February 21 in Parliament.

Photos and Videos from Kennedy Osei and Tracy’s royal wedding

It was all glitz, glamour and fancy cars at Trassaco Estate as the General Manager of Despite Media and son of Ghanaian business mogul, Osei Kwame Despite, Kennedy Osei traditionally marries his girlfriend Tracy.

2017 WomanRising 100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women Announced

WomanRising, a flagship network of The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) has announced its annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Ghana (100 MIWG) for 2017.