US Student Otto Warmbier Dies After Being Returned From North Korea In A Coma — Here's What You Need To Know

US Student Otto Warmbier Dies After Being Returned From North Korea In A Coma — Here's What You Need To Know

​Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was detained in North Korea 17 months ago, has died after being returned to the US last week in a coma. How did a student who left on his trip perfect health end up here? Here’s what you need to know.

Warmbier Was Sentenced To 15 Years Of Hard Labor For Allegedly Stealing A Banner From His Hotel

A University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, Warmbier was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner from his hotel while visiting the country as a tourist in December of 2015. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 after a tearful televised public confession to the crime. It was widely suspected that the statement was written by North Korean officials and that Warmbier was coerced into delivering it.

[The Guardian]

 

When Assessed By Doctors, They Discovered He Had Suffered A Stroke A Year Ago

The scans showed “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of his brain.” That means his brain was deprived of oxygen and/or blood for a long time, and tissue died everywhere — much the same process that happens to brain cells in a particular area of the brain when a person has a stroke, everywhere… This MRI also makes it possible to say whether a stroke is recent or not. People in early stages of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury sometimes improve; people in remote stages do not. Warmbier’s brain injury is in a remote stage. His doctors reported that it happened more than a year ago.

[The Atlantic]

The Findings Did Not Support The North Korean Story That Blamed The Death On Botulism, A Foodborne Illness

Kanter and his colleagues say they’ve found no evidence that Warmbier, who has demonstrated no awareness of his surroundings, suffered from the effects of botulism — a finding that appears to contradict the explanation offered by his North Korean captors. Authorities there have said Warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill.

[NPR]

North Korea Has A History Of Abusing Prisoners

Apart from Warmbier, there are several examples of US detainees being physically abused by North Korea in recent history: Robert Park, a Christian missionary who entered North Korea in 2009 said he was tortured and sexually abused by government officials; Laura Ling, a US journalist who was captured while working in North Korea, said she was also hit in the headby North Korean soldiers.

[Vox]

On Monday, His Parents Issued A Statement Announcing Warmbier Had Passed Away

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.

[The Washington Post]

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:32:35 +0000