Otto Warmbier’s family opted not to have an autopsy performed when their 22-year-old son died earlier this week after being held for 17 months in North Korea. Warmbier had been returned home to the United States last week in a coma after the closed country charged him with a “hostile act” toward the state for allegedly removing a propaganda poster. He was arrested at the airport as he attempted to fly home.
Now, a human rights group called Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has created a change.org petition in honor of Warmbier; the petition is not for an autopsy to be performed or action to be taken against the North Korean regime, however. It is a petition to have former NBA player Dennis Rodman removed from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Rodman recently left the US for another trip to North Korea, a trip like several controversial ones he’s taken in the past. While US officials insist Rodman’s trip has nothing to do with Warmbier’s case, the VCMF is outraged that a prominent American would casually visit promote the dictatorship which has been accused of countless human rights violations.
Marion Smith is the director of the human rights foundation believes that all Americans should stand against the North Korean regime. Smith believes that having Rodman removed from the hall of fame will send that message strongly to the man who has called North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un a “friend for life.”
So far the petition has gained 1,462 supporters, 38 signers short of its 1,500 goal.