Singapore’s youngest filmmaker talent Amos Yee has been granted asylum by the US Court of Appeal today (Sep 27) and he has been released from the detention centre. The 18-year-old Singaporean was jailed for over 50 days in 2015 for condemning the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his father calling them “dictators”. Also in the subsequent months, Amos Yee was jailed again, attacked twice and harassed (as confirmed by Human Rights Watch) by the ruling party dictatorship, their supporters and the Singapore Police.
The Singapore government fabricated trumped-up charges calling Amos Yee’s popular Youtube videos “seditious” and “harming religious harmony”, when there was not a single complaint from any of the religion leaders in Singapore.
In Dec 2016, Amos Yee took a flight to US and sought asylum refuge from the persistent persecutions of the Lee Hsien Loong government. He was granted asylum in March but the US government then made an appeal extending his detention.
During the March hearing, Judge Samuel Cole in Chicago said:
“Amos Yee suffered past persecution on account of his political opinion and had a well-founded fear of future persecution in Singapore. The aim of jailing Yee in Singapore at such a young age was to stifle his political speech.”
Today, Amos Yee was cleared by the Court of Appeal and he is now residing in Chicago. He told media reporters that he will not back down from Lee Hsien Loong’s threat:
“I’ll continue leading life as usual. I have plans for more videos, much of it criticising the Singapore government, but I think maybe I broaden my work to US politics too, since I’m here.”