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Washington, DC – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul spoke on the House Floor in support of passing H.Res. 90, demanding that the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party immediately release Mark Swidan.


– Chairman McCaul delivered the following remarks –

Mr. Speaker, Mark Swidan is an American, a Texan, and [has been] a hostage of the Chinese Communist Party for more than a decade. We stand together to demand his release, and put an end to his torture by CCP officials.

In 2012, Mark was wrongfully detained in China for a crime he clearly did not commit. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that it was impossible for him to have committed any of the crimes he is charged with. In fact, Mr. Speaker, he was not even in China at the time the CCP says these false crimes were committed. Since his abduction in 2012, Mark has been grossly abused in Chinese custody. He has been held in a temporary detention facility – intended for brief custody – but now for more than a decade.  He remains caged in a small, crowded cell that is freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer. The toilet is a hole in the ground.  The lights are never turned off, and he has no regular access to sunlight, a bed, or hot water.

Chinese officials have denied him proper medical care. Guards have broken his hand several times and he has suffered a dislocated knee. Mark has lost [more than] 100 pounds. He suffers from tooth and gum disease, and his mouth bleeds every day. Mark has only been allowed to speak with his family a handful of times. His ordeal has taken a terrible toll on his physical and mental health.

And just last week, the People’s Republic of China denied Mark’s appeal and upheld the death penalty, with a two-year suspended death sentence.

Threatening an American citizen with death for a crime he could not have possibly committed is a brazen human rights violation and a disgusting example of the CCP’s hostage diplomacy. Protecting Americans abroad is the priority mission of the State Department. Yet State has failed to secure Mark’s release or hold the CCP accountable for its gross violations of his basic human rights. Instead, the Biden administration continues to prioritize engagement with the PRC over all else – even the safety of American citizens.

The bipartisan resolution before us today unanimously passed the Foreign Affairs Committee in February. It condemns the CCP for their violation of international law and demands the immediate release of Mr. Swidan. Furthermore, it urges the Biden administration to hold the CCP accountable for its blatant violation of human rights and international law.

I want to thank my good friend and Texas colleague, Mr. Cloud, for introducing this resolution, which deserves our unanimous support. And with that, I reserve the balance of my time.