United States Student, Otto Warmbier, was sentenced by North Korea to fifteen years of hard labor for crimes against the state.
Twenty-one year old, Warmbier was arrested in January after North Korean authorities said he stole a propaganda sign from a hotel. Warmbier appeared on state television in what seemed to be a forced confession citing a church group asked him to bring back a trophy from his trip.
Several analysts have said that a fifteen year sentence of hard labor is extremely high compared to other cases in the past and likely a response to new sanctions imposed on the country.
The University of Virginia student, during the tearful press conference in Pyongyang in February said, it was the “worst mistake” of his life.
Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch in Asia said in a statement, “North Korea’s sentencing of Otto Warmbier to fifteen years hard labour for a college-style prank is outrageous and shocking”.