The US Board of Immigration Appeal, in agreeing with Immigration Judge Samuel Cole, ruled that Amos Yee is deserving of asylum. Activists familiar with his case in the United States of America say that Amos’ s lawyers are in the process of getting him released from detention.
On March 24, the United States of America’s Immigration Judge, Samuel B. Cole, granted Amos Yee’s asylum application. Judge Cole concluded that the Singapore government persecuted Yee on account of his political opinion, and that Yee is deserving of asylum as a matter of discretion.
The judge considered the Freedom House and the World Press Freedom Index rankings of Singapore for his judgment. He noted that Singapore is indicated as “partly free” in the Freedom House listing, and that World Press Freedom Index listed Singapore at 153 – near bottom of its ranking.
Judge Cole commented on Yee’s convictions in Singapore and said: “Though Yee’s prosecutions may have been legal under Singapore law, they clearly served a ‘nefarious purpose.”
He also noted: “… other people who made disparaging comments about religions, but who were not similarly critical of the Singapore regime avoided prosecution. These included Calvin Cheng and Jason Neo… Both made comments critical of Islam, equating Muslims to terrorists. Neither was charged.”
The Singapore Government later commented on Judge Cole’s decision and said the US’s decision on Amos’s asylum case will encourage other hate speakers to seek asylum in the USA.