Portman Encouraged by Release of Two Hostages Held in Haiti
Continue to Press Administration to Secure Release of Remaining Hostages
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement following news reports that two hostages from Christian Aid Ministries, a Millersburg, Ohio, based missionary organization, who were detained 37 days ago by an armed gang while conducting missionary work near Port au Prince, Haiti were released from custody. Portman continues to press the administration to secure the release of the remaining hostages.
“My heart breaks for the missionaries from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries who are currently in harm’s way. Today’s release of two hostages is a step in the right direction, but we must not rest until everyone in custody is released. Unfortunately, kidnapping in Haiti is an all-too common occurrence. The U.S. government needs a whole-of-government approach to address this problem, and I remain hopeful that this situation will be resolved with all hostages being released safely.”
Last month, Senator Portman’s amendment to the Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act was unanimously accepted. The amendment calls for “an assessment of U.S. interagency efforts to counter kidnapping and armed violence in Haiti.” Portman has spoken with numerous officials at the Justice Department and State Department on this issue, and will continue to push them to do more to secure the release of all the hostages.