Durbin To Biden Administration: Push Every Possible Lever To Secure The Safe And Urgent Release Of Mark Frerichs

On the two-year anniversary of Mark Frerichs’ abduction, Durbin reiterates commitment to bringing him home

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today reiterated that the United States must do whatever it can to bring home Mark Frerichs, originally from Illinois and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, who was abducted in Afghanistan two years ago. At the time, Mr. Frerichs was working as a civil engineer and for a decade, he had been leading construction projects to benefit the Afghan people.


Two years ago Mark Frerichs, a veteran of the United States Navy from Illinois, was abducted by the Taliban, Durbin said. “For two agonizing years, Mark’s family has prayed for his safe return. They should not be forced to wait a minute longer. Last week, Charlene Cakora, Mark’s sister, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post urging the Biden Administration to help finally bring Mark Frerichs home. My colleague Senator Duckworth and I have made the same appeal to the President many times over: to push every possible lever to secure the safe and urgent release of Mark. It seems the administration is committed to doing so.”


Durbin went on to outline and thank President Biden for his recent statement on Mr. Frerichs’ case, which reiterated that the Taliban must immediately release him. He also urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to keep Mr. Frerichs’ release at the forefront of negotiations with the Taliban.


Durbin continued, “Let’s make sure Mark Frerichs doesn’t spend another year in captivity. Let’s bring him home to Lombard Illinois so he can turn 60 in the loving company of family and friends.”


In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the State Department’s Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Budget Request, Durbin questioned Secretary Blinken about the United States’ policy towards Afghanistan in the future. Durbin also urged Blinken to do everything in his power to bring home Mark Frerichs.


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.