Op-Ed: North Korea sadistically murdered an American college student, challenging humanity’s baseline!

Friday, June 23, 2017

By Xie Yanyi

■ Editor’s note: Xie Yanyi is a Chinese human rights who was persecuted during a nationwide crackdown on rights defenders termed the “709 case” to memorialize its start date, July 9, 2015.

According to Fox News, during the afternoon of June 19, 2017, American college student Otto Warmbier’s family issued a statement saying that Warmbier, who was secretly detained in North Korea for 17 months, died at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center less than a week after returning home. The (medical0 report indicated that Warmbier had “extensive loss of brain tissue.” If that is true, Otto’s death does not only imply that the North Korean government has committed the crime of intentional homicide but also abuse! No matter what kind of information the North Korean government is trying to convey to the outside world, the severity of the case has exceeded the law and human rights, but directly challenges the baseline of human sympathy. Therefore, every citizen of the international society, every human being, will have to realize the danger of totalitarian terrorism. 

As everyone knows, anything could happen under a totalitarian regime, including the Holocaust—which happened in Nazi gas chambers and concentration camps—and other massacres, torture, experiments on human beings, and the removal of human organs. This kind of atrocity is a solid reality that is threatening every one of us. The governments and the international society should no longer use diplomatic language to avoid responsibility or employ the policy of appeasement. We need to use effective measures and eliminate totalitarian terrorism as soon as possible! Its threat is as abominable as the murder of two Chinese countrymen, Lee Zingyang and Meng Lisi, which was committed by an extreme terrorist organization [Editor’s note: Lee Zingyang, 24, and Meng Lisi, 26, were two Chinese Christians murdered in Pakistan for preaching, for which ISIS claimed responsibility on June 8]. After the event, some media sources were indifferent to the life and dignity of mankind, displaying an anti-humanity stance and leading the public opinion astray.

Totalitarian terrorism was not only hostile to its subjects; members of the ruling classes are not exempted from its cruel suppression once they lose power. For instance, Jang Song-thaek, a former leading figure in the government of North Korea, was said to be publicly torn apart by dogs as a warning for the North Korean public. Kim Jong-nam, brother of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, was poisoned under the eyes of the public in a Malaysian airport. Totalitarian terrorism was always ready to use extreme and secretive measures. Laws, human rights, and humanitarianism mean nothing to them.

It can be inferred from the murder of American college student Otto that the North Korean public is living in constant terror. I hereby call on the international society, the United Nations, and international human rights groups to fulfill the assigned duties the Charter of the United Nations and the International Bill of Human Rights. The international society should shoulder the responsibility and dispatch to North Korea a special human rights investigation team that involves all relevant parties. The investigation team should investigate the truth behind the atrocity and bring to account all the people who participated in the murder. The government of North Korea should cooperate with the investigation unconditionally, or the international society will take necessary military measures!

June 20, 2017

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