Government and Politics
December 9, 2022
Portman, Brown, Coons Praise the Inclusion of Otto Warmbier Countering North Korea Censorship and Surveillance Act in the FY 2023 NDAA
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Chris Coons (D-DE) announced that their bipartisan legislation named in honor of Otto Warmbier, the Otto Warmbier Countering North Korea Censorship and Surveillance Act, has been included in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation, a modified version of the legislation that passed the Senate in June of this year, authorizes $10 million annually for the next five years to counter North Korea’s repressive censorship and surveillance state.
The bill is named after Otto Warmbier, a Cincinnati, Ohio native who was wrongfully imprisoned by the brutal North Korean regime and died as a result of the injuries he sustained while in custody. This past June 19th marked the five-year anniversary of Otto’s passing. Senator Portman honored Otto’s memory with a speech on the Senate Floor in June.
“I am pleased that the Otto Warmbier North Korea Censorship and Surveillance Act has been successfully included in the FY 2023 NDAA,” said Portman. “Otto Warmbier was the best of America, the Midwest, and Cincinnati. This legislation will help ensure that his memory lives on and that the brutal regime responsible for his unjust death is held accountable for this and it’s myriad of other human rights abuses. With the five year anniversary of Otto’s unjust death earlier this year, I look forward to this legislation becoming law very soon.”
“The inhumane treatment of Otto Warmbier by North Korean authorities that ended in his death was a tragic reminder of Kim Jong Un’s brutal regime,” said Brown. “Including the Otto Warmbier Countering North Korea Censorship and Surveillance Act in the FY2023 NDAA is an important step to reaffirm our commitment to combat North Korea’s human rights violations against its own people and against those who have been held captive and to counter North Korean surveillance, censorship, and repression.”
“The treatment and death of Otto Warmbier is a harrowing reminder of North Korea’s brutal, repressive regime and its disregard for human rights,” said Senator Coons, co-chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus. “I am glad to see this legislation advance in the NDAA to honor Otto’s memory and reaffirm our pursuit of accountability and justice for all of those who have suffered under Kim Jung Un’s violent reign.”