Amos Yee: 13-page ruling, 8 reasons, instead of “simple, spoken ruling”?


Amos Yee wins asylum

I refer to the article “An outspoken Singaporean blogger wins asylum in America” (The Economist, Apr 1 – 7)

13-page ruling, 8 reasons, instead of “simple, spoken ruling”

It states that “Immigration judges often grant asylum with a simple, spoken ruling. This one explained himself over 13 pages. He gave eight reasons why the charges of wounding religious sentiment and obscenity were simply a pretext to suppress Mr Lee’s political views, including the disproportionate prison sentence handed to a young first-time offender, the fact that his first video—and the public response—focused far more on his criticism of Lee Kuan Yew than his “tangential” remarks about Christianity, and Singapore’s failure to prosecute other people who had insulted Islam.

“Critics of the govt are silenced by civil suit for defamation or criminal prosecutions”

The judge accepted testimony from expert witnesses arguing that “this is the modus operandi for the Singapore regime—critics of the government are silenced by civil suit for defamation or criminal prosecutions.” The judge accepted that Mr Yee (pictured) was legally prosecuted under Singaporean law, but ruled that his prosecution served “a nefarious purpose—namely to stifle political dissent”.

Your views?

What is your view of the judge’s written judgement?

US Govt appeal?

As to “On March 24th, over the objections of the American government, a court approved his application” – since he is still in detention – does it mean that it may be likely that the U.S. Government may appeal against the asylum granted to him?

In this regard, according to – “Once you are granted asylum (in the USA), you will be released within a few hours or a few days”.

“Judge’s “baseless and unwarranted” findings”?

With regard to “The head of Singapore’s association of criminal lawyers said his members were “outraged” by the judge’s “baseless and unwarranted” findings. Saying such things about a ruling of a Singaporean court, ironically, could put the speaker at risk of prosecution for contempt” –

Geneva Convention and Protocol?

in this connection, do you agree with the remarks, “the judge’s “baseless and unwarranted” findings”, given that according to Article 1 of the Geneva Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is a person who:

“Owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it“.

By the way, how many and what percentage of the membership were “outraged” and how was this determined – by a survey of the members? How many members wrote to the society to express their “outrage”?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.