January 31, 2022

On Two Year Anniversary of Kidnapping, Duckworth and Durbin Reiterate Call for the Safe Return of Illinoisan Mark Frerichs


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – On the second anniversary of Illinoisan Mark Frerichs’ abduction in Afghanistan, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) reiterated that the United States must do whatever it can to secure his safe return from the Taliban, Haqqani network or their affiliates. Duckworth is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served 23 years in the Reserve Forces and Durbin is a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

“Securing the safe return of potentially the only remaining U.S. hostage of the war in Afghanistan, a Navy Veteran who served this nation honorably, is an urgent matter and we were glad to see President Biden’s statement acknowledging the situation and forcefully calling for Mark Frerichs’ immediate release. Our attention must be devoted to continuing to push on every reasonable lever to secure the safe return of Mark Frerichs to his family.”

After Frerichs was abducted by the Taliban, Haqqani network or their affiliates in Afghanistan, Duckworth and Durbin have repeatedly called on both the Trump and Biden administrations to prioritize his safe return. During a SASC hearing this past May, Duckworth discussed her concern for the safe return of Frerichs and secured a 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. In July, Duckworth spoke with Secretary Blinken about the importance of securing Mark Frerich’s safe release. During a recent Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Durbin urged Secretary Blinken to do everything in his power to bring home Frerichs.