Otto Warmbier: US student sent home from North Korea dies

The US student held in captivity for more than 15 months in North Korea has died a week after returning home.

Otto Warmbier, 22, was serving 15 years hard labour, accused of attempting to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.

He was returned to the US last Tuesday, with North Korea saying it was on humanitarian grounds.

North Korea said he had been in a coma for a year after contracting botulism but his family say he was subjected to “awful torturous mistreatment”.

A team of US doctors have also disputed North Korea’s version of events.

Mr Warmbier had suffered severe brain damage, and was medically evacuated from North Korea on 13 June to a hospital in his home city of Cincinnati, Ohio. It is unclear how he fell ill.
How harsh is prison in North Korea?
How did Otto Warmbier’s holiday end in his death?
A statement from the family on Monday said: “It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20pm.”

They said the student had been “unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands”.

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“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.”

Source: BBC

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