July 16, 2021

Duckworth Raises Frerichs Case in Call with Secretary of State Blinken


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today issued the following statement after speaking with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the importance of securing the safe return of her constituent Mark Frerichs, a Veteran of the U.S. Navy who was abducted in Kabul in early 2020. Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is Chair of the SASC Airland Subcommittee.

“I had a frank conversation with Secretary Blinken about the importance of securing the safe return of my constituent who is being held hostage overseas, Mark Frerichs, an American citizen and Illinoisan who served his country in uniform. Now is the time to strike a deal to make sure we secure Mr. Frerichs’ safe release. I will continue to advocate on his behalf and do all I can to bring him home.”

During a SASC hearing in May, Duckworth secured commitment from Mr. David F. Helvey, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, to pursue opportunities to advocate for Frerichs’ safe return.

Earlier this year, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote letters to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken requesting that the administration prioritizes bringing Mark, and other American hostages like him, home safely. In November 2020, Duckworth similarly urged the previous administration to secure the safe return of Mark Frerichs and hostages like him in Afghanistan.