ICYMI: Senator Shaheen Helps Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Recognize U.S. Hostages and their FamiliesMarch 17, 2023
**Legislation would establish a National Hostage and Wrongful Detainee Day, as well as an official Hostage and Wrongful Detainee flag**
(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, along with U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and U.S. Representatives Haley Stevens (D-MI) and French Hill (R-AK), recently introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish an annual National Hostage and Wrongful Detainee Day. This commemoration of a national day would call increased attention to Americans unjustly held abroad and highlight the urgency to bring home wrongfully detained Americans. The legislation would also establish an official Hostage and Wrongful Detainee flag, pictured below.
“The plight of Americans unjustly detained abroad is excruciating for both them and their loved ones. In addition to exploring every measure to bring them home, establishing a day and having a specific flag to recognize these individuals is an important, symbolic way the United States can remind the public that these hostages and their families are not forgotten. I’m proud to join this bipartisan, bicameral action to raise the profiles of these individuals and the families who are fighting for their freedom,” said Senator Shaheen.
Shaheen has long been an advocate for Americans unjustly imprisoned or held hostage abroad. Shaheen helps lead the Supporting Americans Wrongfully or Unlawfully Detained Abroad Act of 2023, passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month. The legislation authorizes the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department to cover the costs of travel to Washington, D.C. for family of Americans who are wrongfully or unlawfully detained abroad. It also encourages the Department to make mental health support available to detainees and their families. Shaheen is also a leading advocate for families of hostages, and has worked to see the ISIS terrorists culpable in the murders of New Hampshire native and journalist, James Foley, as well as Americans Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, stand trial in the United States for their crimes.
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