On Friday, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) announced a congressional hearing to discuss the ongoing detention of U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi. Rep. Salmon is leading the charge to free Sgt. Tahmooressi.
The hearing entitled, “Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi: Our Marine in Mexican Custody,” has been scheduled for Oct. 1 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Sgt. Tahmooressi has been held in a Mexican prison for two months for making a wrong turn and entering Mexico with registered guns. He served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and received an honorable discharge in 2012. He had been under treatment for PTSD at the time of his arrest.
Reps. Salmon and Ed Royce (R-CA) traveled to Tecate, Mexico where they visited with Tahmooressi to check on his condition. The two congressmen drafted a letter to the Mexican Attorney General in September.
In the letter to Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, Reps. Royce and Salmon write:
As citizens of our country reflect on the recent barbaric execution of Americans at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists, we are reminded of the service of men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces who, like Sgt Tahmooressi, sacrificed so much to combat the scourge of terrorism that threatens to destabilize the world. Sgt. Tahmooressi’s combat related PTSD is a life threatening condition he acquired in honorable defense of his country, and he needs to return to the United States to begin treatment post haste. It is because of this that we have been closely following his incarceration in Mexico, even visiting him at the El Hongo II prison in Tecate. And it is because of this that we respectfully ask for your good offices in assuring that his case is resolved urgently.
Rep. Salmon, serving as Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Committee, made a statement on the Tahmooressi’s continued imprisonment and his own duties as a member of Congress. He said,
As Congress begins to contemplate once again committing our nation’s servicemen and women to the fight against terrorism, it is incumbent on us to stand by our heroes when they return home. As a direct result of his honorable service in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi now suffers from combat related PTSD. Tragically, instead of receiving the treatment he needs, he is being held in a Mexican prison. As a Member of Congress it is my obligation and duty to protect heroes like Andrew who have suffered the ravages of war in service to our nation. I’m convening this hearing to honor his service and work to ensure his immediate release so that he can receive the treatment he needs.
Former Marine Montel Williams, who has been a vocal advocate for Tahmooressi’s release, will be one of the witnesses called by the panel. Sgt. Tahmooressi’s troubling situation has received very little media coverage of late, the hearing will put the story back in the headlines and give it the coverage it deserves.
This article was crossposted.