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Blogger Amos Yee still in US custody despite asylum win

Singaporean teen blogger Amos Yee remains in custody in Chicago despite being granted political asylum in the United States last week, his lawyers said yesterday.

The 18-year-old has been detained since December and Grossman Law LLC, representing Yee, said they learned that Yee could be detained further pending a “potential, but not yet filed” appeal by the Department of Homeland Security.

The department has 30 days to file an appeal after Yee was granted asylum on the basis that his prosecution in Singapore for “wounding religious feelings” amounted to persecution on the account of his political opinions.

“The supposed pendency of the Department’s appeal is immaterial; Yee should have been released immediately after he was granted asylum,” the law firm said in a statement.

Yee has said he fears returning to Singapore and being politically persecuted for his opinions.

The firm is renewing a request to release Yee on humanitarian parole and is exploring other legal options, the statement added.

Yee was sentenced to jail twice in Singapore in the past two years for publishing material online mocking Christianity and Islam.

- dpa

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