Many nonprofit organizations exaggerated the number of Americans “wrongfully detained” overseas.
According to the US State Department, the actual number is significantly less than the claims of such so-called humanitarian organizations.
Liberal NGOs Exaggerate Misery to Remain Relevant
The Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA) stated almost 35-40 Americans are “wrongfully detained” abroad.
In contrast to this, the Bring Our Family Home Campaign and the Foley Foundation indicated this number is touching 60 these days. SPEHA did not release the exact number, however.
While talking about such a significant difference in the official and the NGO’s numbers, the official of the SPEHA noted it’s “ok” to have the divergence.
The official added it is necessary for everyone to go out through the “robust” process to know the exact stats.
The State Department believes a smaller number of Americans are wrongfully detained abroad than some nonprofit organizations dedicated to raising awareness about their cases.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 3, 2022
Likewise, the official asserted it is important to consider all the facts.
Some of these facts are classified, which have to be taken into consideration before telling the deputy secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, about the exact number of such people.
One of the reasons for the divergence in the numbers, according to the SPEHA official, is the fact the government looks into numbers quite “rigorously.”
The official established the government has to listen to the Foley Foundation with “both ears,” as it is usually the first one to raise awareness about the detained Americans.
Reportedly, the disparity debunked the narrative of the liberal organizations, which often exaggerate the numbers in order to maintain their relevance and get funding.
This #MoralCourageMonday, the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation would like to recognize all Americans currently held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad. We will not stop advocating for their release! #BringAmericansHome pic.twitter.com/oISm5esVxE
— JamesFoleyFoundation (@JamesFoleyFund) May 16, 2022
Decreasing Amount of Americans Wrongfully Detained
Currently, the government employs the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act, passed by Congress in 2020, to find the number of detained Americans.
According to this act, the government has to take 11 different factors into account before declaring any person wrongfully detained overseas.
While the government is likely to follow the procedure, NGOs ignore many factors, due to the lack of enough public data available for such a confidential issue.
Some of the most important factors in this regard are whether the charges against the subject are orchestrated or if the person is specifically targeted for being an American.
In addition to this, the presence of the person in “inhumane conditions,” and the possibility of the host country demanding political concession from America in exchange for release, is taken into consideration while accessing the status of the detained person.
Whenever the case comes in front of the department, and the detained person is unable to qualify the list of wrongfully detained individuals, officials keep their file open to wait for more evidence.
The current head of the governmental agency, Roger Carstens, was appointed by former President Trump.
He stated back in February, almost 40 to 50 Americans were wrongfully detained abroad, the burden of which he feels daily.
However, this time, the administration quoted a number between 35-40, suggesting the release of some people since February.
Since then, two Americans from Venezuela and one from Russia were brought back home.