New video shows American man abducted in Afghanistan pleading for release
A new video obtained by The New Yorker from an unidentified source depicts an American hostage pleading for release from the Taliban.
Mark Frerichs, who was abducted in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2020, recorded the 30-second video on Nov. 28, 2021.
“My name is Mark Frerichs. Today is 28 November 2021,” Frerichs states in the video, seemingly reading a script next to the camera. “I’ve been patiently waiting my release. I’d like to ask the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, please, release me.”
“Release me so that I may be united with my family,” he added. “Thank you.”
Frerichs’s identity was confirmed by his sister Charlene Cakora.
Before the discovery of the video, which was released Friday, there was no evidence that Frerichs, a civil engineer and Navy veteran, was alive or still being held hostage.
“This is public confirmation of our family’s long-held belief that he is alive after more than two years in captivity,” said Cakora in response to the discovery.
Cakora told The New Yorker that senior officials from both the Trump and Biden administrations have declined Cakora’s requests to meet with them in person. She and her family say that both administrations have neglected Frerichs despite their work on the recent withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
The same day the video was published, two Afghan American brothers who run the Human First Coalition in Afghanistan were released by the Taliban after months of captivity.
Biden called for Frerichs’s release in January but has not negotiated further on the issue.