Local blogger and Youtuber, Amos Yee has been detained in the United States of America (US) while trying to seek political asylum.
Yee was earlier detained on Saturday morning (Singapore time) when he arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, declaring as a visitor to the country.
Yee’s mother, Mary Toh posted on her Facebook post, confirming that Yee is being detained in the US and seeking political asylum in the US. She said, “The matter is now with his lawyers. I will not be speaking to the press or anyone on this matter.”
According to TOC’s sources, he had applied for political asylum in US with the help of a US non-government organisation before he flew over to the country. However, he did not inform anyone that he was flying over to the country.
To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process, the applicant must be physically present in the United States. The applicant may apply for asylum status regardless of the method of arrival in the United States or his/her current immigration status.
It has not been confirmed why Yee was picked out by the US immigration. However, as Yee is said to have earlier applied for asylum a month earlier, his name may have been in the records of the US immigration department.
It is also said that the US immigration detained Yee according to protocol and procedures for persons seeking political asylum.
Yee is currently held at the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility.
TOC understands that Yee is now in contact with his US Lawyers and would be instructing his lawyers and to coordinate with the NGOs.
In September 2016, he was jailed six weeks and fined $2,000 for eight charges – two for failing to turn up at a police station and six for intending to wound the feelings of Muslims and/or Christians. Yee had rejected an earlier offer from the prosectutor at the start of the trial and contested all the charges against him.
In July 2015, he served a four-week sentence for making remarks that were derogatory and offensive to Christians in an online video, posting an obscene image of late Lee Kuan Yew and Margaret thatcher. He was also initially charged under Protection of Harassment Act where people complained about being harassed for his insults against late Mr Lee.