North Korea tortured and 'destroyed' prisoner Otto Warmbier, parents say

28 September, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Otto Warmbier

A report by the deputy county coroner signed September 11 says Warmbier died from complications from brain-damaging oxygen deprivation through "an unknown insult more than a year prior to death". The manner of death is written as "undetermined".

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labor after being convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel.

In a case like this, a full-scale autopsy would normally be carried out to provide more details on the cause of death, but at the request of the Warmbiers no autopsy was performed.

Otto Warmbier's death on June 19 was due to an unknown injury that occurred more than a year before his death, according to Hamilton County Coroner's Office investigator John Hatfield and the just-released coroner's report dated September 11.

His 17-month-long incarceration added an emotional undercurrent to the hostile relationship between North Korea and the United States and played a role in the Trump administration's decision to bar Americans from visiting the country as of September 1. He was blind, he was deaf.

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The Hamilton County Coroner's examination showed multiple small scars on Warmbier's body that had healed, as well as a scar where a tracheotomy tube was inserted, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

His family declined an autopsy, so the coroner's report relied mainly on an external examination of his body.

"That's why they released him, they didn't want him to die on their soil", Cindy Warmbier said.

They say the 22-year-old University of Virginia student was "jerking violently", making inhuman sounds and staring blankly when he returned to the U.S. He died in June.

"They destroyed him", Cindy said.

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Otto Warmbier's parents have called for North Korea to be classified as a state sponsor of terrorism, after they claim it "systematically tortured" and "injured" their son. "This pattern of brain injury however is usually seen as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest where the blood supply to the brain is inadequate ... resulting in the death of brain tissue", medical centre doctors said at the time.

"No mother, no parent should ever have gone through what we went through". "As we looked at him and tried to comfort him it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth".

"We don't know what happened to him to cause that brain damage", said Sammarco at a press conference Wednesday.

North Korean officials maintain that he contracted botulism and slipped intothe coma after taking a sleeping pill.

The President added: If we take that option, it will be devastating, I can tell you that, devastating for North Korea.

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