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Amos Yee asylum appeal 'likely to be expedited': Lawyer
SINGAPORE: The appeal against Singaporean teen blogger Amos Yee before the US' Board of Immigration Appeals "will likely be expedited" as he remains in detention, a lawyer representing him said on Friday (Apr 28).
In an email, Mr Christopher Keeler, a co-counsel for Yee from legal firm Grossman Law, told Channel NewsAsia that the US government appealed immigration judge Samuel Cole's ruling to grant the teen asylum there. It was filed on Apr 4 - within the 30-day window after the initial ruling was made, he added.
Mr Keeler said that as the appeal is a written one, meaning there will be no oral hearings in front of the Board, briefs are due by May 11, and the law firm is currently in the middle of drafting the brief in support of Yee's case.
"We expect that the Board should rule on the matter in about six to eight weeks, but that time frame could easily be shorter or longer depending on the Board's schedule," he said, adding that both sides will have a chance to appeal the decision to federal court after.
The US lawyer said Yee is likely to remain detained until his case is final and, should there be an appeal on the decision, he could be detained for much longer.
The law firm has made several requests for Yee to be released from detention, given that he is not a flight risk and poses no threat to the community. "However, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has denied all of our requests," he said.
Yee's mother, Madam Mary Toh, confirmed last December that he was detained in the United States. According to US-based Singaporean civil activist Melissa Chen, the 18-year-old was detained after he landed at O'Hare Airport in Chicago.
The Singaporean was sentenced in July 2015 to four weeks' jail for wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims, and was sentenced to another six weeks' jail for the same offence last September.