China upholds death sentence of ‘wrongfully detained’ US citizen Mark Swidan
14 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
The United States stated that it will continue to press for Mark Swidan's immediate release and return to the country.
An intermediate court in China denied the appeal of ‘wrongfully detained’ US national Mark Swidan on Thursday, upholding his death penalty with a two-year suspended death sentence, according to an official release from the US State Department. Disappointed by the Chinese court’s decision, the United States stated that it will continue to press for Mark Swidan’s immediate release and return to the country.
The release quoted Vedant Patel, the US State Department’s Principle Deputy Spokesperson, as saying, “Today the People’s Republic of China’s Jiangmen Intermediate Court denied wrongfully detained US national Mark Swidan’s appeal, and upheld his death penalty with a two-year suspended death sentence.”
According to Patel, top Chinese officials have frequently heard from the US about Swindan’s treatment and medical care, as well as “his inability to write or receive correspondence in a timely manner.”
“We are disappointed by this decision and will continue to press for his immediate release and return to the United States. US officials have repeatedly expressed their concerns to senior PRC officials about Mr. Swidan’s treatment, medical care, and his inability to send or receive mail in a timely manner,” the official statement read further.
According to a press release from the State Department, US President Joe Biden, and Secretary Antony Blinken are still focused on Mark Swidan’s release.
“President Biden and Secretary Blinken continue to remain focused on the release of Mark Swidan and other US nationals wrongfully detained or held hostage across the world,” the official release read.
According to The Hill, Swidan was unlawfully detained in 2020, and the United Nations Human Rights Council demanded that China take the “necessary remedy” and immediately release Swidan.