Teenager Seeking US Asylum Fears Return to Singapore

March 16, 2017

A young blogger waiting on a ruling by a Chicago migration Judge on his sanctuary petition to remain in the United States disclosed on Friday that he’s scared of going back to his home country of Singapore, where he was imprisoned after posting critical blog posts about the regime of the government.

The blogger, Amos Yee, an 18-year-old has been in the United States since the middle of December when he was detained at the O’Hare International Airport.

His secretive immigration hearings came to light in a Chicago court on Tuesday, while the presiding judge declared that he'd reach a verdict in the coming weeks.

“I’m terribly scared now that the government of Singapore is now aware that I am trying to seek refuge in another country so I can continue to be freely critical of their actions,” Amos told the reporters by a phone call from a prison center in Wisconsin. “I am pretty scared and terrified.”

Amos, an atheist, was imprisoned about two times while in Singapore on grounds including harming the feelings of Christians and Muslims in the country.

A lot of his posts on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media outlets, however, strongly criticize the government of Singapore. He caused an uproar in 2015 as the country was in a state of mourning the demise of its premier prime minister and he posted a shocking and deeply explanatory video about the prime minister Lee Kuan Yew immediately after his passing.

Such unabashed criticism of government leaders is highly prohibited in Singapore. Amos’ case has attracted a lot of attention because he was jailed at the age of 16 together with adults. Professionals argue that the issue, which is being observed closely away from Singapore, raises doubts and questions about freedom of speech and actions, particularly on the web.

The embassy of Singapore in the United States refused to provide comments to questions posted immediately.

Amos admitted that being imprisoned in Singapore had adverse psychological effects on him and made him have thoughts about ending his life. He’s confident he’ll be a focal point of attack should he return to Singapore.

He had intentions of seeking refuge in the United States for weeks and had arranged a residential space in the state of Illinois.

Singapore citizens don’t require a permit to visit the United States, but Amos was detained after migration officials interrogated him at the O’Hare International airport and he told them of his plans.

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