Singapore blogger robbed ‘multiple times’ in US detention centre


PETALING JAYA: A teenage blogger from Singapore who has been detained in the US for over 200 days, claims he was repeatedly robbed by a fellow inmate who was convicted under illegal weapons and assault charges.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Amos Yee said the inmate, Emmanuel “Bubba” Reyes, had on multiple occasions robbed him of money given to purchase food from the prison kiosk.

According to the post, Yee received the money on his commissary account from well-wishers “who care about him”.

However, Reyes allegedly began targeting Yee and several other prisoners whom he intimidated and stole food from.

Reyes, who is described as a 6’4″ muscular black man weighing over 113kg, specifically targeted Yee, Yee’s Filipino friend, Asians, and the elderly whom he viewed as easy targets, the post said.

“Reyes was recently placed into solitary confinement after attacking another inmate. Reyes approached a 72-year-old inmate and demanded that the man give him his chips. The 72-year-old man refused to give up his food so Reyes beat him badly,” it said.

Yee reportedly requested that he be moved to a different part of the prison due to harassment, and his request was granted by prison authorities.

The post said Yee and his Filipino friend, Jay, who made the same request, were now safe.

Yee, 18, has been held by US authorities since arriving at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport last December, seeking political asylum.

He was initially detained in Illinois, but is now being held at the Dodge County Detention Facility in Juneau, Wisconsin.

Yee was jailed twice in Singapore for online comments. His trials, which have been closely watched by rights groups and the United Nations, have fuelled the debate in Singapore over censorship, the limits of free speech and political correctness.

In September last year, Yee pleaded guilty to six charges of deliberately posting comments on the Internet – in videos, blog posts and a picture – that were critical of Christianity and Islam. He was sentenced to six weeks in jail.

In 2015, Yee was convicted on charges of harassment and insulting a religious group over comments he made about former premier Lee Kuan Yew and Christians soon after Lee’s death. His sentence at the time amounted to four weeks in jail.