Aijalon Mahli Gomes

Aijalon Mahli Gomes is an American teacher from Boston, Massachusetts, detained in North Korea on January 25, 2010 for illegally entering the country. Aijalon Mahli Gomes was tried by North Korea, and on April 6, 2010, he was sentenced to eight years of hard labor and fined $700,000 (USD). He was allowed to speak to his mother by phone on April 30, 2010.

In June 2010, North Korea threatened "harsher punishment" by "applying a wartime law to him" if the United States continued its "hostile approach" in the follow-up to the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan. Gomes was reported to have been hospitalized after attempting suicide in July.

The American government sent a consular envoy to Pyongyang to discuss his release but Gomes currently remains in North Korea. In August 2010, the country agreed to release Gomes, but only if former US president Jimmy Carter came to get him. Carter agreed to the trip and arrived to Pyongyang on August 25.

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