Former hostage Mark Frerichs at U.S. military hospital in Germany a day after swap led to his release

Mark Frerichs was at a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Tuesday, a day after being released by Taliban forces in Afghanistan, after being held hostage for more than two years.

Charlene Cakora photo distributed by the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Mark Frerichs was at a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Tuesday, a day after the Lombard man, held hostage by Taliban forces in Afghanistan for 2.5 years, was swapped for an Afghan drug lord serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison.

Frerichs, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times, was at the Landstuhl U.S. Military Hospital, where the Defense Department runs a program designed to help captives restart their lives, beginning with a medical assessment.

“He’s going through a process of reintegrating and getting his freedom back,” the source said, who added Frerichs, 60, on Monday had his first hot shower in a very long time.

Frerichs, kidnapped in Kabul on Jan. 31, 2020, was released because of relentless efforts by his sister, Charlene Cakora, a Lombard resident, pushing for her brother’s freedom, starting during the Trump administration.

When President Joe Biden took office he made securing the release of Frerichs a priority, and in a potentially risky move months before the November mid-term elections granted clemency to Bashir Noorzai, with the drug dealer — who was a Taliban financier — having been in U.S. federal custody for 17 years. Noorzai was the key to the deal.

After the swap at the Kabul airport, Frerichs was flown on a U.S. government plane to the Al Udeid Air Base, southwest of Doha, Qatar, and then on to Germany.

Cakora, in a Tuesday statement, said, …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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