U.N. rights envoy urges North Korea to clarify U.S. student case

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 16, 2017 6:01 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights investigator on North Korea called on Pyongyang on Friday to provide a full explanation of why an American student was returned home this week in a coma after being in custody for more than year.

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old university student released to the United States this week after being held in North Korea for 17 months, has a severe brain injury and is in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness", his Ohio doctors said on Thursday.

"While I welcome the news of Mr Warmbier's release, I am very concerned about his condition, and the authorities have to provide a clear explanation about what made him slip into a coma," Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said in a statement issued in Geneva.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Gareth Jones)