U.S student jailed in North Korea for stealing banner dies a week after his release

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A university student flown home to the US in a coma after being held in North Korea for 17 months has today died .

The family of Otto Warmbier, 22, said he died on Monday afternoon following "tortuous mistreatment" in North Korea where he was held for trying to steal an banner bearing a propaganda slogan, .

In 2015 ,he University of Virginia student was visiting North Korea with a tour group when he was arrested and sentenced to to 15 years in prison with hard labour,after he tearfully confessed he had tried to steal a propaganda banner.He been in a coma since March 2016, shortly after he was sentenced, the family said.

Doctors said he returned with severe brain damage, but it was not clear what caused it.

On Thursday, North Korea said that it had released Warmbier "on humanitarian grounds."

Fred Warmbier said the family did not believe North Korea's story that his son had fallen into a coma after contracting botulism and being given a sleeping pill.

Doctors said on Thursday that there was no sign of botulism in Otto Warmbier's system
His family said in a statement:

"Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.

"When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13 he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable - almost anguished."Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed - he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that."

Reacting to Otto's death, Donald Trump branded North Korea a "brutal regime".

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