American Held Captive In Afghanistan For More Than Two Years Released

Nicole Martin, Senior Copy Editor

On Monday, Sept. 19, American citizen and Navy veteran Mark Frerichs– having been held captive for over two years, was released in a prisoner swap.

In January 2020 while performing construction contract work in Afghanistan, Frerichs was taken by the Haqqani network— a branch of the Taliban. During that time, the  United States signed a Joint Declaration with the Taliban signifying a peace treaty between the two countries.

The release of Frerichs finally came as a result of the release of Taliban member and Afghan drug lord and prisoner, Haji Bashir Noorzi. In exchange for Frerich’s freedom, Noorzi would be granted mercy after 17 years in prison.

The negotiation as called by the Biden Administration led to some controversial thoughts, as some people felt that Bashir Noorzi should not have been released due to past criminal activity and his potential to commit future crimes. However, after a video put out by The New Yorker in November 2021 displayed Frerichs’ plea to be freed, as well as years of negotiations and the non-stop fighting of Frerichs’ family, the decision to make the deal and release Frerich was passed.