A senior Biden administration official announced Monday that Mark Frerichs, an American held hostage in Afghanistan for more than two years, had been freed in a prisoner exchange.
The person said that “bringing Mark home has been a high priority for President (Joe) Biden and his national security staff.”
As part of the agreement, the pardon was given to Haji Bashir Noorzai, a senior Taliban member who spent 17 years in jail in the US on drug trafficking charges, the source add.
While doing contract work for a construction company in Afghanistan in late January 2020, Frerichs, a US Navy veteran from Illinois, is abduct.
He was in the custody of the Taliban’s Haqqani network. Before the US and the Taliban reach a peace agreement, he had go for less than a month.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Frerichs is in excellent physical and mental health and was able to walk by himself into the airplane. He’s in Doha, Qatar, right now.
In a statement, Frerichs’ sister Charlene Cakora thanked Biden for obtaining his release and expressed the family’s gratitude.
“Although there were others who argued against the agreement that brought Mark home, President Biden acted morally. He prevented the death of a defenseless American soldier.”
“Hearing that my brother is safe and coming to see us makes me very pleased. During the more than 31 months that he has been a prisoner, our family has prayed for this every day “Cakora said. Yet, we never lost faith that he would live and return to us safely.
In addition to praising Frerichs’s release, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged to strive to secure the release of any other Americans held overseas “arbitrarily and unlawfully.”
Blinken, speaking at the UN’s New York headquarters, stated that Mark would soon be reunite with his family. “A few hours ago, the President got the chance to talk with them.”
According to Blinken, as done for Frerichs, the US will “bring the same commitment and attention” to releasing those Americans who are “arbitrarily and unfairly incarcerate” overseas.
Blinken said, “I want the families of Americans who are being unlawfully arrest or held hostage anywhere in the globe to know that our commitment to them is solid, and we will ruthlessly continue to work on achieving precisely that.
According to a Taliban spokesperson, the exchange possible by a fruitful “conversation” with the US.
The freeing of Haji Bashar and the release of an American citizen demonstrated that communication, understanding, and cooperation are the best ways to resolve disputes, according to a tweet from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid.
“Force and pressure cannot advance ties with Afghans; understanding, on the other hand, can do anything.”
The New Yorker release a video of Frerichs appealing for his release earlier this year; it is the first time he seen in years.
Frerichs adds in the short video, which he claims is being film on November 28, 2021, “I’ve been patiently expecting my freedom.”
The Biden Administration is dedicate to seeking to liberate those Americans who are “arbitrarily and unfairly” incarcerate overseas, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Cakora has demand more of the US government since her brother abduct, and she has intensify her demands as the US prepare to leave Afghanistan in 2021.
Safi Rauf, an Afghan-American Naval reserve, and his brother Anees Khalil, a US green card holder. Who the Taliban had held since December, were freed earlier this year thanks to the Biden administration.