President Biden Demands the Release of a Lombard Man Taken Captive in Afghanistan, Saying, “This Is Not Negotiable.”
The Taliban seized a Lombard man working as a contractor in Afghanistan two years ago on Monday.
President Joe Biden has now joined the appeal for Mark Frerichs, a US Navy veteran, to be released.
In the two years after he was tricked into a trap and kidnapped by the Taliban in January 2020, his family has not seen or heard from the 59-year-old.
He is thought to be with the Haqqani network, which is tied to the Taliban.
They’ve pushed President Trump and now President Biden, doing everything they can to bring his tale to light.
President Biden delivered a remark on the subject for the first time on Sunday, stating, “Before any assessment of the Taliban’s ambitions for legitimacy, Mark must be released immediately. This is a non-negotiable point.”
The announcement comes as Afghanistan grapples with a complex humanitarian situation in the aftermath of the United States’ exit in August.
The Taliban soon gained control of most of the nation, halting much of the foreign aid that had been streaming in, placing the lives of millions of Afghans at risk of starvation or freezing to death.
The last known American captive held by the Taliban is a Lombard guy.
“The United States has brought up Mark’s situation in every meeting with the Taliban, and we’ve made it plain that the Taliban’s claim to legitimacy is unthinkable while they keep a U.S. citizen captive.
His release is one of our most important, non-negotiable goals. We will continue to send a strong message to the Taliban leadership: free Mark swiftly and safely, and denounce the practise of kidnapping people “In a statement, the US Department of State stated.
“Endangering the safety of Americans or any other innocent people is never acceptable,” Biden said, “and hostage-taking is a particularly brutal and cowardly crime.”
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthy (D) of the 8th District stated, “It was an act of brutality and cowardice.”
Frerichs, who grew up in Lombard’s west suburbs, had spent the previous decade working as a civil engineer in Afghanistan, where he was working on a municipal water project when he was abducted.
Frerichs’ sister, Charlene Cakora, released a statement saying that her family is “grateful” for Biden’s sentiments.
“President Biden’s comments have been helpful to my family. This firm acknowledgement of Mark’s two years in Taliban prison is what we’ve been requesting from the Obama administration since they took office.
But what we want is for Mark to return to us. We know the President has alternatives to make that happen, and we hope Mark’s safe return becomes a particular priority for him “she stated
“I’m feeling optimistic.
He was powerful, assertive, and compassionate “In response to Biden’s comments, Krishnamoorthy stated.
Frerichs’ sister believes the Taliban would release her brother in return for the release of Bashir Noorzai, an Afghan heroin dealer who has been held in US captivity for 16 years.
Pakora also gave an exclusive interview with ABC News in June 2021, in which she had a message for President Joe Biden: “You have the authority to return my brother to me; please do so securely.
We’re counting on you, “she stated “He is a citizen of the United States of America. And I’m sure you wouldn’t abandon an American citizen.”
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The Frerichs family is hoping that the president’s comment signals a willingness to negotiate.