Otto Warmbier, American Student, Dies Soon After Release from North Korean Prison
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The New York Times is reporting that Otto F. Warmbier, a former University of Virginia student, died today today at the age of 22, just days after being released from a North Korean prison. He was sent back to his hometown of Cincinnati on Tuesday June 13 and was receiving treatment at a hospital there, after spending 17 months in captivity and over a year in a coma in North Korea.
His family issued a statement this afternoon, stating: “Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.”
He was originally detained at the Pyongyang airport in January 2016 after going on a tour of the country that was run by a Chinese company. He had a trial in a North Korean court, where he was charged for committing a “hostile act” after he allegedly attempted to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel room. Warmbier spent almost a year and a half in captivity in North Korea, where he suffered “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of his brain,” according to doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
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