Family of Jeffrey Fowle, the Christian held in a North Korea prison, asks for mercy
The family of imprisoned American, Jeffrey Fowle, held a press conference Tuesday to ask for mercy for their husband and father, WDTN reports.
Fowle has been held captive by the North Korean government since around the time of his arrival in the country on April 29. He is accused of proselytising.
Fowle's wife, Tatyana, their three children, and their attorney met with reporters to ask the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to release Fowle. Their statement, read by the attorney, began with an offering of remorse.
"The family would like to express its heartfelt apology to the people and the government of the DPRK," they said. "Jeff has apologised publicly for his actions and Jeffrey's family petitions the government of the DPRK for mercy toward Jeffrey and asks for his release."
The 56-year-old Ohioan allegedly left a Bible in his hotel room, but his family denies that he was on an evangelical mission.
Fowle was also the family's sole breadwinner, and their attorney reported that they are struggling to get by in his absence.
"They miss him and are desperate for his release and return home," the statement continued. "Jeff is the primary financial provider for their family and Tatyana is struggling to manage by herself. Jeffrey has expressed concern that his job benefits may run out soon."
In an August 1 interview, Fowle asked for the U.S. government's help in securing his release.
"The horizon for me is pretty dark," he told reporters. "I don't know what the worst-case scenario would be, but I need help to extricate myself from this situation. I ask the government for help in that regards."
He is currently awaiting trial, although it is unclear when the proceedings will begin.
"The window is closing on that process," Fowle said. "It will be coming relatively soon, maybe within a month.
"I'm anxious to get home, I'm sure all of us are."
Two other Americans are being held in the communidt nation: Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller. Miller is awaiting trial, while Bae was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in 2012.