Blogger must wait for US asylum ruling

World | 9 Mar 2017

A judge is expected to decide in the case of a Singaporean blogger who is seeking asylum in the United States in about two weeks, his lawyer said.

Amos Yee, 18, who has been jailed twice in Singapore, has been held at a detention facility outside Chicago since arriving on December 16 seeking political asylum.

After a hearing in a federal immigration court in Chicago, Sandra Grossman, Yee's attorney, said a decision would be issued soon.

The hearing was closed to the press to protect the identity of an individual providing testimony, Grossman said.

Yee appeared by video for the hearing, Grossman said.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam, secretary general of the Reform Party, an opposition party in Singapore, said he gave testimony on the country's treatment of political dissidents.

Jeyaretnam has said previously he supports Yee's asylum application and that the government of Singapore has persecuted and harassed Yee.

Yee has been jailed twice in Singapore for online comments.

His trials, which have been closely watched by rights groups and the United Nations, have fueled the debate in Singapore over censorship, the limits of free speech and political correctness.

In September, Yee pleaded guilty to six charges of posting comments critical of Christianity and Islam. He was sentenced to six weeks in jail.

In 2015, Yee was convicted of harassment and insulting a religious group over comments he made about former premier Lee Kuan Yew and Christians soon after Lee's death.

His sentence was four weeks in jail.

REUTERS

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