Amos Yee
Amos Yee
Amos Yee

The Online Citizen (TOC) has learned that an urgent appeal was filed on Friday with the courts to request that Amos Yee be released on bail.

The appeal was unsuccessful for administrative reason, TOC understands.

The request was made after the mother of the 16-year old teenager, who is being remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for psychiatric assessment, felt that conditions in the ward had become worrying for her son.

Mdm Mary Toh, mother of Amos Yee, told TOC on Thursday that her son is suffering mental stress from the environment he is in.

The teenager is being remanded at block 7 of the institution, which is believed to be the remand ward for those with suspected mental illness and the criminally insane.

“Amos pleaded [with me] to get him out soon,” Mdm Toh told The Online Citizen (TOC). “He can’t stand even another day in there. He said prison is better than IMH.”

When Mdm Toh visited her son, she said Amos Yee was upset because he felt she did not understand the mental stress he was going through.

TOC also understands that the assessment of Amos Yee has been completed, which is one reason why Mdm Toh filed the court appeal.

“IMH staff thought Amos could be discharged today,” Mdm Toh said, adding that the staff have been very helpful but are also concerned about the teenager who she said has not eaten for three days.

“They are all very concerned and worried, but say they can’t do anything,” Mdm Toh said, referring to the IMH staff.

“Amos feels very depressed, but he is still hoping somebody can get him out soon, Mdm Toh said.

“He is feeling very weak and giddy,” she explained.

Her son has lost much weight as well.

“He is hoping to be sent to a hospital if he can’t go home.”

The call for the teenager to be released has gained momentum in the past week or so, with the United Nations and other international organisations lending their voices of support to the call.

Protests in support of Amos Yee have been held in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

On Friday, Amnesty International issued a strongly worded statement, calling for an “immediate and unconditional” release of the teen, who could still be sentenced to reformative training which would entail a minimum 18-month detention.

“According to the Office of the UN Commissioner on Human Rights, reformative training is ‘akin to detention and usually applied to juvenile offenders involved in serious crimes’ and was referred to in a recent Singapore district court decision as ‘incarcerative in nature and should be imposed cautiously’,” Amnesty said.

What does the teenager himself think of all this support?

“Amos was quite surprised to hear of so many organisations supporting him,” his mother said. “He has missed out on many things, having been in remand for five weeks so far.”

In total, Amos Yee would have served more than 50 days in remand, even without having been sentenced.

His next hearing, where he will learn of his sentence, will be on 6 July.

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