Otto Wambier, the University of Virginia honors student that decided to travel to North Korea as part of a five-day tour in January 2016, was recently released from the country after being held captive for 17 months.
Wambier was arrested and imprisoned for an undefined “hostile act” as he tried to leave Pyongyang airport over a year ago. Two months later, they convicted him for trying to steal a propaganda poster and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
It took the American government 17 months to secure his freedom.
However, upon his return, it was revealed that he was in bad shape after being physically abused for such a long duration.
North Korea blamed the coma on botulism and a sleeping pill, but American officials don’t believe them.
Conservative Tribune reports:
CBS News reported that a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday that the 22-year-old student suffered a “severe neurological injury.”
The New York Times reported that United States obtained intelligence reports recently that indicated Warmbier had been repeatedly beaten.
Fred Warmbier, Otto’s father, told Fox News that his son went into a coma the day after he was sentenced. He said Otto was “terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea,” adding that he and his wife, Cindy had just learned of their son’s grave condition last week.
Otto is now in stable condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Spokesman for UC Medical Center Sherri Kirk said Wednesday there were no updates on his condition.
This hostile act shouldn’t go unpunished. We must make North Korea pay for treating an American citizen like this. If we are not willing to stand up for our own citizens, how can we even try and maintain credibility throughout the rest of the world?
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