Press Releases

Marc Fogel, a U.S. citizen who has been detained in Russia for more than a year, was given a disproportionate 14-year sentence at a maximum-security penal colony for committing a low-level offense.
 
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to determine that Mr. Fogel should be treated as a “wrongfully or unlawfully detained American” under the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act. The “wrongfully detained” designation would ensure that Mr. Fogel can receive the level of support that is appropriate for Americans who have been taken hostage and eventually secure his freedom.
  
  • “Mr. Fogel’s recent 14-year sentence to a maximum-security penal colony for possession of less than an ounce of medical marijuana can only be understood as a political ploy by Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime. Mr. Fogel, a 61-year-old with severe medical conditions, has already been detained for a year. The United States cannot stand by as Mr. Fogel wastes away in a Russian hard labor camp.” 
 
  • “We strongly urge the State Department to shift its strategy given the realities of Marc Fogel’s situation and act immediately to designate him as ‘wrongfully detained.’ Such a designation will provide the warranted level of support to Marc Fogel's family after a year of communication with Mr. Fogel only via mail and, most importantly, will require the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs to secure Mr. Fogel's freedom.  We cannot allow Mr. Fogel to be used as a political pawn by Vladimir Putin.”
 
Looking forward… Rubio will continue to push for justice for wrongfully detained Americans. His Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act, now U.S. law, makes available government resources to bring back Americans held hostage or unlawfully detained abroad.
 
Click here for a full list of cosigners.
 
Want more? Read the full letter here.