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Three Americans still held by North Korea highlight U.S. citizens detained overseas

Warmbier was released last week and died on Monday.

The release and subsequent death of Otto Warmbier from North Korea is bringing new attention to Americans detained in North Korea and in other countries across the world.

Three Americans still remain imprisoned in North Korea. Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song were arrested in recent months on charges of committing “hostile acts.” A third American, Kim Dong Chul was detained in 2015.

Here is a look at those still being held in captivity:

Currently Detained Americans


Baquer and Siamak Namazi October 2015 – Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based businessman with dual US and Iranian citizenship, is detained while visiting relatives in Tehran. Namazi is the first US citizen reported to have been detained in Iran since the announcement of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

February 2016 – Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF official and father of Siamak Namazi, is also detained, his wife Effie Namazi says on Facebook. He is an Iranian-American.

October 2016 – Baquer Namazi and his son Siamak are sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $4.8 million, according to Iran’s official news channel IRINN. Iran officials say five people were convicted and sentenced for “cooperating with Iran’s enemies,” a government euphemism that usually implies cooperating with the United States.

Reza “Robin” Shahini July 11, 2016 – San Diego resident Reza “Robin” Shahini is arrested while visiting family in Gorgan, Iran. Shahini is a dual US-Iranian citizen.

October 2016 – Shahini is sentenced to 18 years in prison.

February 15, 2017 – Goes on a hunger strike to protest his sentence.

April 3, 2017 – The Center for Human Rights in Iran says Shahini has been released on bail while he awaits the ruling of the appeals court.

North Korea:

Kim Dong Chul October 2015 – Kim, a naturalized American, is taken into custody after allegedly meeting a source to obtain a USB stick and camera used to gather military secrets. In January 2016, Kim is given permission to speak with CNN by North Korean officials, and asks that the United States or South Korea rescue him.

March 25, 2016 – Kim has confessed to espionage charges, a North Korean official tells CNN.

April 29, 2016 – A North Korean official tells CNN that Kim has been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for subversion and espionage.

Kim Hak-song May 7, 2017 – The state-run Korean Central News Agency reports that US citizen Kim Hak-song was detained in North Korea on May 6 on suspicion of “hostile acts” against the regime. The regime describes Kim as “a man who was doing business in relation to the operation of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.”

Kim Sang Duk April 22, 2017 – US citizen Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim, is detained by authorities at Pyongyang International Airport for unknown reasons. Kim taught for several weeks at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

May 3, 2017 – State-run Korean Central News Agency reports that Kim is accused of attempting to overthrow the government.

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