TEXAS (KXAN) — Several Texas state and federal lawmakers have called for the release of a resident detained in China since 2012.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) presented the resolution Feb. 1 calling for the release of Mark Swidan, a Houston man detained for more than a decade. Sen. Cornyn (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) cosponsored the measure, with Cloud submitting the resolution in the House of Representatives.
Last May, Cruz submitted a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as the State Department, “calling for them to take urgent action to secure Swidan’s release.”
“Mark Swidan’s captivity must come to an end for himself, for his family, and for the United States. Secretary Blinken’s upcoming trip to Beijing should be the final chapter in this tragedy,” Cruz said in the release. “I am calling on the Biden administration to use all the tools at our disposal to secure his release, and on the government of China to finally release him and return him home.”
Cornyn said the Chinese government committed “horrific” human rights abuses against Swidan and that he would continue calls to President Joe Biden’s administration to expedite Swidan’s case.
“Too many innocent Americans remain wrongfully imprisoned by authoritarian regimes who are happy to collect human lives as a capital for future political bargaining. Mark Swidan has been detained for over 10 years,” Cloud said, in part, in a release. “He and his loved ones have remained strong these 10 years, and I am committed to ensuring that he can return to Texas.”