Shaheen’s Statement on New Executive Order to Strengthen Efforts to Bring American Hostages Home

July 19, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement of a new executive order to expand the tools available to deter and disrupt hostage-takings and wrongful detentions that will strengthen efforts to free Americans detained abroad and further support the families fighting for them at home.

Shaheen has worked on numerous cases of Americans being held against their will. She worked to secure the freedom of Granite Stater Amer Fakhoury, who was detained in Lebanon, as well as Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey. Shaheen is also a leading advocate for hostage families and has worked to bring the Islamic State terrorists responsible for the murders of journalist and New Hampshire native James Foley, as well as Americans Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, stand trial in the United States for their crimes.

“Any time an American citizen is wrongfully detained against their will, it demands the full attention and weight of the United States to bring them home. I am happy to see the President taking an important step forward to strengthen our diplomatic tools for this purpose,” said Shaheen. “Having worked on many cases, I know the agony and anguish that families go through when faced with the unimaginable. Every effort must be made to ensure the freedom of their loved ones. This is the case of Paul Whelan, Brittney Griner and other Americans wrongfully detained abroad – we must pull every available lever to get them home as quickly as possible.

Shaheen successfully included language in the Defense Authorization Legislation for fiscal year 2020 to establish a senior coordinator position within the executive branch for all matters relating to ISIS detainees. This position directs all diplomatic engagements and planning regarding the future of ISIS detainees. In 2018, Senator Shaheen?visited northeast Syria?To see the detention centers housing ISIS terrorists. Was the creation of this role originally a recommendation of the Syria Study Group (SSG)?interim reportThe? a comprehensive strategic review of US policy in Syria.?


Next article Previous article