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Amos Yee gets his wish to stay in US after successful asylum bid

The US Department of Homeland Security has 30 days to appeal or the decision will become final.

Chan Cheow Pong | March 25, 2017 @ 09:19 am

18 year old infamous Singaporean teenage blogger Amos Yee has been granted asylum by a US immigration judge in Chicago on Mar. 24, who found that he qualifies as a political refugee.

According to a Reuters report, Judge Samuel Cole ruled Yee’s prosecution, detention and maltreatment at the hands of the Singapore authorities “constitute(s) persecution on account of Yee’s political opinions,” and called him a “young political dissident.

In a 13-page opinion, the judge found the witnesses including Kenneth Jeyaretnam, secretary-general of the Reform Party “credible” and said that “Amos Yee has established that he suffered past persecution on account of his political opinion.”

“The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has not rebutted the presumption that he has a well-founded fear of future prosecution on the same basis”, he added.

The report also said that Yee is immediately eligible for release after having been held in US immigration detention since Dec 16, 2016, according to his attorney, Ms Sandra Grossman, who is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

According to Grossman Law’s website update on the case, the US Department of Homeland Security has 30 days (until April 24, 2017) to file an appeal. If it fails to appeal, the decision will become final.

Yee had been twice jailed for wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims.

He was detained after he landed at O’Hare Airport in Chicago last December, but since had some access to his social media platforms, posting with the help of Melissa Chen, a Singaporean human rights activist who is now a legal permanent resident of the US.

Related articles:

Amos Yee said he is scared of returning to S’pore if US asylum bid fails

Amos Yee posted on Facebook: Short prison stint a ‘non-traumatic mild inconvenience’

Amos Yee will know his fate in 2 weeks’ time if political asylum bid successful

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About Chan Cheow Pong

It took Cheow Pong two decades to recover from the trauma of memorising General Paper essays before he was ready to be an English writer. In between affliction and recovery, he thoroughly enjoyed his time writing in Chinese and doing Chinese translations.

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