Amos Yee not released from detention 2 weeks after being granted asylum

Human rights groups demand release of Singaporean teenager.

Martino Tan | April 06, 2017, 12:10 PM

Perpetually detained Singaporean teenager Amos Yee is still detained in the United States despite being granted asylum two weeks ago.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and PEN America have asked the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to release supposedly free man Amos Yee immediately.

In a press release today, HRW said that Yee was granted asylum by a US immigration judge on March 24 but remains in ICE custody.

Yee, 18, has been detained since his arrival since Dec. 16 last year.

Karin Karlekar, director of Free Expression at Risk Programs at PEN America, said,

"The continued detention of Amos Yee is disgraceful because it undermines the very principles of due process, fairness, and freedom of speech that he sought in escaping Singapore...Yee has faced unnecessary emotional and mental harm as a result of his unjust detention. We support his renewed request to be released following his successful asylum claim."

The two organisations said that the US government has not provided grounds consistent with international law for detaining Yee, adding that international human rights law articulates a strong presumption against the detention of refugees.

Yee’s legal team is exploring options to secure his release, while the Department of Homeland Security has 30 days to file an appeal of the judge’s asylum decision.

Yee had previously expressed his fear of returning to Singapore, which is still possible, in the event his asylum bid ultimately fails.


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