Durbin Praises the Release of American Hostage Mark Frerichs

During his speech, Durbin thanked President Biden, Secretary Blinken for their tireless effort to secure Mark’s release

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) praised the release of Mark Frerichs today, an Illinoisan held hostage for more than two and a half years after being abducted in Afghanistan in 2020. After Frerichs was abducted by the Taliban, Haqqani network, or their affiliates in Afghanistan, Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) have repeatedly called on both the Trump and Biden Administrations to prioritize his safe return.

“Two and a half years ago, a native of my home state and a Navy veteran, Mark Frerichs, was abducted by the Taliban or one of its affiliates in Afghanistan,” said Durbin. “He had been working there as a contractor and his disappearance was devastating for his family back in Lombard, Illinois. Senator Duckworth and I have spent countless hours and staff hours working with his family, trying to find out what happened to Mark. We spoke to his sister Charlene and repeatedly raised his case with both the Trump and Biden Administrations. We wanted to let them know we cared, and we joined the family in that chorus. Well, today the family’s prayers have been answered.”

Durbin thanked President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken and their teams for never giving up on Mark and ultimately securing his freedom.  

“His sister Charlene said upon news of her brother’s release, ‘we never gave up hope that he could survive and come home safely to us.’ She was right—and Mark was so fortunate to have her as his steadfast champion. Welcome home, Mark,” Durbin concluded. 

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.