SINGAPORE: The United States has granted asylum to Singaporean blogger Amos Yee, according to the US law firm representing him in his application.
According to a media update on Grossman Law's website, Immigration Judge Samuel Cole granted Yee asylum after he concluded that the Singapore Government "persecuted Yee on account of his political opinion".
The judge also found Yee and his two witnesses, one of whom is Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, leader of the opposition Reform Party, "credible" and that the applicant had established he "suffered past persecution on account of his political opinion". The Department of Homeland Security has not rebutted the presumption that he has a well-founded fear of future prosecution, he added.
"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," according to the decision of the Immigration Judge, as posted on the law firm's website.
The Department of Homeland Security has 30 days (until Apr 24) to file an appeal. If the government fails to appeal, the decision will become final, the law firm said, adding it has contacted the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Chicago to secure Yee's release.
Yee's mother, Madam Mary Toh, confirmed last December that he was detained in the United States. According to US-based Singaporean civil activist Melissa Chen, the 18-year-old was detained after he landed at O'Hare Airport in Chicago.
The Singaporean was sentenced in July 2015 to four weeks' jail for wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims, and was sentenced to another six week's jail for the same offence last September.