Free Aijalon Gomes
ICC Note: After seven months American Christian Aijalon Gomes remains in prison under torture for illegally crossing into North Korea
8/4/10 North Korea (FreeKorea) – After seven months in a North Korean prison — try to imagine how interminable each of those months must have been — we’ve heard no confession, only the troubling report that he tried to take his own life. That still doesn’t mean he’ll make North Korea a less cruel place for having gone there. If he becomes “Kim Jong Bill” Richardson’s justification for another self-serving ransom mission to Pyongyang, he’ll only have helped to advance the Kim Dynasty’s diplomatic, political, and financial goals. Park and Gomes would have done more good and spread their message more effectively by joining in the leaflet balloon campaign. And although Gomes did not publish a manifesto when he crossed, it seems that he took his inspiration from Robert Park, who said he didn’t want anyone in our government to do anything to secure his release. Of course, that’s not a wish that any citizen can reasonably expect his government to honor, but I would certainly oppose giving any concession of any kind for his release.
But what other plausible justification is there for holding Aijalon Gomes in a jail cell for seven months? Nothing Aijalon Gomes did was vaguely violent, surreptitious, or criminal.