National Hostage and Wrongful Detainee Day

Floor Speech

Date: March 28, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate National Hostage and Wrongful Detainee Day.

I along with my Democratic colleague, Congresswoman Haley Stevens, reintroduced our legislation yesterday that establishes March 9 as National Hostage and Wrongful Detainee Day.

On March 9, 2007, Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran.

He never returned home.

The commemoration of this national day brings attention to Americans that are being unjustly held as wrongful detainees and hostages in a foreign land.

Since the Levinson Act was signed into law two years ago, we've heard from families and organizations that are dedicated to helping bring wrongful detainees and hostages home and how the law is working.

We're learning more about how the Levinson Act is being used since it's become law.

And it's time for the House Foreign Affairs Committee to conduct oversight and see what potential changes should be made.

I helped create in the last Congress, the Congressional Task Force on American Hostages and Americans Wrongfully Detained Abroad, because one of my constituents disappeared on a visit to Syria. Majd Kamalmaz is still held by the Assad regime in Syria.

Majd and his wonderful family lived for a time in my hometown of Little Rock.

And every member of Congress is dedicated to the more than 50 Americans who right now are held against their will wrongfully in a country around the world.

We all want to bring home Majd and every other American that's being held wrongfully.

I'm proud to be a part of this Task Force and work alongside my friend, Congresswoman Stevens.

I thank all those who are involved in their daily awareness to bring wrongful detainees and hostages around the world home to their families in our great country.