Congressman Cloud Leads Letter To Secretary Blinken Regarding Urgent Case of Mark Swidan’s Detainment  

Apr 28, 2023

Washington, D.C.– Today, Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul led a congressional letter to Secretary Blinken regarding the urgent case of Mark Swidan’s arbitrary detainment in the People’s Republic of China and his impending death sentence.  

On November 13, 2012, Mark Swidan was arrested by the People’s Republic of China and falsely accused of being a member of an international criminal drug organization. A year later in November of 2013, Swidan was tried and despite no evidence of drugs ever being found, the PRC’s unjust legal system sentenced him to death in 2019. 

After being wrongfully detained for 10 years, in April of 2023, the PRC upheld their decision to uphold Swidan’s death penalty with a two-year suspended death sentence.  

Rep. Cloud and other lawmakers stated in the letter, “Mark Swidan’s situation is made even more dire given the physical and psychological torture he is enduring at the Jiangmen municipal detention center. Swidan is currently being held in a detention facility that is intended to hold individuals for up to 48 hours. His mother says he is going blind, has fractures in his leg, and has broken his hands five to seven times.” 

“Given the high-profile return of Brittney Griner and the great lengths you and your team have made to bring her home, we ask that Mark Swidan’s safe return home be your highest priority in all engagements with the PRC.” 

“We must hold malign regimes accountable, especially those who are happy to capture innocent people for capital for future political bargaining,” Congressman Cloud said. Mark Swidan has been a hostage and prisoner in China for over 10 years. I urge Secretary Blinken and the Biden administration to take action to secure the immediate release of Swidan and ensure he returns home to his family in Texas. Swidan and his family deserve nothing less.” 

This letter was co-signed by Representatives Zinke (R-MT), Wilson (R-SC), Lawler (R-NY), Webster (R-FL), Weber (R-TX), Garcia (D-TX), Escobar (D-TX), Wittman (R-VA), Biggs (R-AZ), Carson (D-IN), Amodei (R-NV), Fallon (R-TX), Granger (R-TX), Santos (R-NY), Gonzalez (D-TX), Crenshaw (R-TX), Brecheen (R-OK), Allred (D-TX), Cammack (R-FL), Babin (R-TX), Van Duyne (R-TX), Armstrong (R-ND), Radewagen (R-AS), Kelly (R-MS), Payne (D-NJ), Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Mace (R-SC), Reschenthaler (R-PA), Guest (R-MS), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), McCormick (R-GA), Jackson (R-TX), Sessions (R-TX), Self (R-TX), Hudson (R-NC), Pfluger (R-TX), Lamborn (R-CO), Williams (R-NY), LaTurner (R-KS), Ezell (R-MS), Green (D-TX), Hill (R-AR), Williams (R-TX), Scott (R-GA), Veasey (D-TX), Baird (R-IN), Fletcher (D-TX), McGovern (D-MA), Gallagher (R-WI) and Jay Obernolte (R-CA). 

Click HERE for a copy of the letter. 


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