Families of 26 US hostages who have been “wrongfully detained” abroad have called on the Biden administration to take immediate action to free their loved ones.
On Mondays Letter For the president, the families of Americans in Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Mali, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Venezuela accused the administration of “not giving priority to negotiations.”
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“We wonder every day how many days our loved ones should be in captivity. They don’t know when they will return home, and the United States government may not fully understand their efforts to gain independence,” the group wrote. He thinks “the US government has been kept in the dark about what it intends to do.”
The letter outlined a call with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in his first week and “promised” that the administration would prioritize the release of their families – some of whom have been imprisoned since the Obama administration.
“Yet, according to the letter, many of us will remain in the same situation, or worse, eight months later,” the group wrote. “We are unable to meet with you or your national security adviser to discuss the captivity of our loved ones, which leads us to believe that your administration is not prioritizing negotiations.”
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Some, like Charlene Kakora, the sister of Marc Frerichs, a Navy contractor who was abducted by the Taliban in February 2020, have recently voiced their call for administration.
Amid the evacuation of US troops from Afghanistan and the mass evacuation in August, the Taliban appealed to the Kakora administration to ensure that its brother was among the more than 124,000 Americans and Afghans who were removed by the Taliban.
But Friedrichs remains in Afghanistan.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Blinken responded to the letter but offered little in the way of updates on how the US is working to bring the hostages home.
“We know that the families of Americans who are imprisoned abroad, they face incredible hardships,” Blinken said.
“We are in regular contact with these families. We are grateful for their partnership, we are grateful for their feedback – we will continue to work to ensure that we are communicating with them and sharing information in a useful way.”