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(中/英文版)余彭杉与政治庇护 Amos Yee and Political Asylum

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余彭杉与政治庇护

作者:张素兰

世界人权宣言第14章(1):“每个人都有权在其他国家寻求和享受庇护”(“Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum frm persecution.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14(1).

余彭杉现在获得了美国给予的庇护是他受到新加坡政府的迫害为依据。新加坡政府可能会因为美国的移民法官塞缪尔.B.科尔(Samuel B Cole)在他撰写的判决词感到不高兴。我就可以肯定的是,最好是把他“移走”。

有些人怀疑余彭杉寻求庇护的原因是因为他企图逃避国民服役。在40年前,新加坡政府在对付陈华彪时也是作出同样的职责。

话又说回来,那些谈论余彭杉的人,在谈到他们尊敬的陈华彪时又有不同的见解。他们说,

陈华彪作为一名青年的学生领袖,但还是在维护被裁退的工人的权益,以及被行动党政府视为潜在的反对者。余彭杉就是一个自私的小家伙。他上载了那些纯粹是为了让自己可以成为一个公众人物和获取物质上的目的。

然而,余彭杉的律师和支持者为他在美国申请庇护是做了大量的前期准备工作。他们收集了有关新加坡政府对余彭杉政治迫害的资料,并提交给移民法院法官。他们甚至传召了肯尼尔.惹耶惹南(Kenneth Jeyaretnam)作为证人出庭供证。肯尼尔.惹耶惹南是一名反对党的领导人。他已故的父亲就面对着行动党政府冗长且无休止的起诉。美国国土安全局并没有传召任何证人就此事实驳斥余彭杉的律师提出的诉求。

美国国土安全局只是在审讯是提出了,因为被新加坡政府起诉余彭杉藐视宗教和在2015淫秽猥亵法律和触犯了新加坡相关的法律。无论如何,移民法官裁决是:

新加坡政府是假借其法律禁止侮辱宗教和淫秽猥亵

塞缪尔.B.科尔法官接着说,

“……在审讯庭上过程中,(余彭杉的律师)所呈堂的文件说明了新加坡政府起诉余彭杉是一个藉口。新加坡政府的目的就是要余彭杉保持沉默不可以批评新加坡政府。余彭杉面对新加坡政府的起诉、拘留和一般性的虐待是由于余彭杉的政治观点所构成的。余彭杉是一名年轻的政治反对者。基于此,余彭杉事申请庇护是予以批准的。

对于新加坡政府而言,塞缪尔.B.科尔法官予以余彭杉对着政治庇护,是对声称尊重法制的发达国家新加坡来说是一个污点。它的国民到了一个国家寻求庇护,同时获得批准庇护的理由是被法院确定为因为在新加坡遭受迫害而流亡。

令人感到一点惊讶的是,内政部经过一个星期的准备后发表了一篇声明!接着,律师协会和刑事律师协会也在今天发表声明了。

我并不知道是否有任何发达国家的公民跑到另一个发达国家申请帮庇护的吗?我只能够想到的是两个属于高级职位的庇护者的庇护案件。——一个是澳大利亚公民朱利安·阿桑奇(Julian Assange)。她是维基解密(Wikileaks)的主编;另一个是美国公民爱德华.斯诺登;(Edward Snowden)。他是电脑专家。

他们是触犯了美国政府法律。他们涉及到把美国中央情报局的机密资料泄露给全世界。他们让全世界都知道,即便是国家首脑使用自己个人手机与他人进行通话也是不安全的。因为他们的通话内容都被美国人窃听了。

问题是,您在有关事件的发生时是站在哪一方。假设您是一名政府官员,您将会说,朱利安·阿桑奇和爱德华.斯诺登所做作为是错的。假设您是一个重视个人隐私权和事实的人,您将会为他们的行为感到骄傲和视他们为英雄!

除了他们这两位之外,我确实无法想到一个没有处于战争状态的发达国家,还会有任何的公民到另外一个发达国家寻求庇护的。

我看,就是除了一个国家!——那就是新加坡!

1987年发生的“光谱行动”后的结果是一名前拘留犯和几个被捕的朋友到美国、澳大利亚和比利时寻求政治庇护。我相信,类似于余彭杉一样,在他们递交了有关的资料和被确定担心回到新加坡将遭受迫害的申请,他们的庇护申请是会获得批准,而且最终是会获得有关国家颁发的公民权。

余彭杉申请庇护的事件已经暴露了新加坡政府长期以来宣称善待自己的公民说辞。余彭杉申请庇护的理由是前所未有的。现在全世界都已经知道,新加坡的政府的本质了——他们的起诉、司法、法院和精神病院是咋回事了!

依据联合国人权难民高级专员公署的统计数字,在世界上每年大约有一百万人寻求庇护。这些寻求庇护的原因大都是因为暴力冲突造成的结果。

新加坡人到国外寻求庇护并不是为了逃避政治,而是因为政府使用法律起诉自己的公民。

Amos Yee and Political Asylum

by Teo Soh Lung

“Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14(1).

Amos Yee has now been granted asylum by the United States on the grounds of persecution by the Singapore government. While the Singapore government may be unhappy with what the Immigration Judge Samuel B Cole said in his judgement, I am sure it is pleased with “getting rid” of him.

Some people suspect that Yee sought asylum because he wanted to evade national service. The same allegation was made by the Singapore government against Tan Wah Piow 40 odd years ago.

Then there are others who distinguished Tan from Yee. They claim that while Tan as a young student leader, championed the rights of retrenched workers and was seen as a potential opponent of the PAP government, Yee is just a selfish little brat, posting videos with the sole aim of gaining publicity for himself and for material gains.

While Yee’s lawyer and supporters did their homework by supplying the immigration judge with detailed cases of persecution of activists and political opponents by the Singapore government and even called Kenneth Jeyaretnam, an opposition party leader whose father was subjected to endless prosecutions by the PAP government as a witness, the Homeland Security Department did not call any witness to rebut Yee’s claim.

The Homeland Security Department had argued that the Singapore government’s prosecution of Yee for insulting religion and obscenity in 2015 was lawful and conducted in accordance with Singapore laws. The Immigration Judge, however decided that “Singapore prosecuted Yee under the guise of its laws prohibiting insulting religion and obscenity.”

Judge Cole went on to say that “… evidence presented at the hearing demonstrates Singapore’s prosecution of Yee was to silence his political opinions critical of the Singapore government. His prosecution, detention and general maltreatment at the hands of the Singapore authorities constitute persecution on account of Yee’s political opinions. Yee is a young political dissident, and his application for asylum is granted.”

The judge’s reasons for granting asylum to Yee blemishes the image of Singapore as a developed country which claims to respect the rule of law. For her citizens to flee to another country to seek asylum and to be granted asylum is to confirm that persecutions do exist in Singapore. It is little wonder that the Ministry of Home Affairs have worked through the weekend and issued a statement! So have the Law Society of Singapore and the Association of Criminal Lawyers today.

I do not know if there are citizens from developed countries who have sought political asylum from another developed country. I can think of two high profile cases – Julian Assange, Australian and Editor in Chief of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, an American Computer Professional. They have offended the American government and some of her allies by leaking secret papers from the CIA to the world. They have informed the world that even heads of state are not safe from having their private phone conversations tapped by the Americans!

It depends on whose side you are with. If you are a government official, you will say that it is wrong for Assange and Snowden to do what they did. But if you are a person who values privacy and truth, then you will be grateful to them and acknowledge them as heroes!

Besides Assange and Snowden, I cannot think of any other person from a developed country which is not at war, who seeks refuge in another country. The exception is Singapore.

Operation Spectrum in 1987, resulted in one former prisoner and several friends of those arrested seeking political asylum from America, Australia and Belgium. I believe their applications for asylum, like Yee’s, were supported by documents and testimonies claiming fear of returning to Singapore. They were granted asylum and subsequently, citizenship.

Yee’s asylum application has exposed the Singapore government’s mean treatment of her citizens in a way no other asylum applications has done before. The world now know the nature of our government, our prosecutors, judiciary, penal and mental institutions.

According to statistics of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, there are around one million people seeking asylum every year as a result of conflict or violence. Singapore’s asylum seekers are not running away from war but from persecution by their own government.

 

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