Singaporean blogger in immigration detention in US

Singaporean blogger in immigration detention in US
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A teenage blogger from Singapore accused of hurting the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims is in custody in Chicago and allegedly seeking asylum in the United States.
 
Amos Yee, 18, was detained at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Dec. 16, according to The Associated Press.
 
Yee was previously imprisoned in Singapore for four weeks in July of last year and six weeks this past September after being accused of mocking Christians and Muslims, with the government of the city-state saying the law had to be enforced to protect religious and ethnic harmony.
 
The AP reported that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency that handles some asylum requests, could not "confirm or deny" whether Yee had applied for asylum.
 
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Yee is in custody "pending federal immigration court proceedings," according to a written statement provided to AP by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gail Montenegro.
 
Yee's lawyer, Sandra Grossman, told the South China Morning Post that he was likely under custody because he entered the United States with a tourist visa although he had the intent to apply for asylum.
 
Phil Robertson, deputy director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, urged U.S. authorities to recognize Yee's asylum claim arguing the teenage blogger was under threat because of his criticism of religion, politics and former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
 
"Amos Yee is the sort of classic political dissident that the U.N. Refugee Convention was designed to protect, and Human Rights Watch hopes the U.S. will recognize his asylum claim," Robertson said.