Seven Americans being held overseas whom the White House has yet to free

The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban commanders has prompted all kinds of debate in the U.S. about the nature of Bergdahl's conduct and the logic of his release. But, while Bergdahl was the last American prisoner of war known in captivity, he isn't the only American being held by foreign forces in politically charged, hostile circumstances. For example, a number of American journalists have been abducted while reporting in Syria, including Austin Tice, a freelancer for The Post (the exact number of American journalists missing in Syria is unclear as some cases are not being publicized). Here are some others who should not be forgotten.

Alan Gross: Imprisoned by Cuba since December 2009


(James L. Berenthal/AP)

Former U.S. government contractor Gross was arrested more than four years ago while working in Havana. The 64-year-old Maryland native was detained after distributing communications equipment to Jewish groups in Cuba, where he was working under a contract with USAID. He was accused of working against the Cuban state and sentenced to 15 years. His imprisonment is a key stalling block in potential talks between Washington and Havana.

Kenneth Bae: Imprisoned by North Korea since November 2012


(Kim Kwang Hyon/AP)

Bae was arrested in November 2012 while visiting North Korean state, and sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly trying to overthrow the North Korean government. Bae is believed to have been working as a Christian missionary in the country. The 45-year-old has been moved to a hospital due to poor health since his imprisonment began. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been criticized for making trips to North Korea but not helping Bae.

Saeed Abedini: Imprisoned by Iran since September 2012

Abedini, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2013 after Iran convicted him of “undermining” the government by spreading his Evangelical beliefs. Abedini, who had married a U.S. citizen, was involved in Iran's "house church" movement in the early 2000s. Iran does not recognize his U.S. citizenship.

Amir Hekmati: Imprisoned by Iran since August 2011


(Hekmati family via FreeAmir.org,/AP)

Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine who was born in Arizona and raised in Michigan, has been accused of spying for the CIA in Iran and was initially sentenced to death by Iran in June 2012. His sentence was later overturned and he was later charged with “cooperating with hostile governments” and sentenced to 10 years. The U.S. government has repeatedly denied accusations that Hekmati, an Iranian-American who had said he was visiting his grandmother, was a spy, and his family claims that video of Hekmati confessing that was shown on Iranian state TV appears to have been made under duress.

Warren Weinstein: Held by al-Qaeda since August 2011

This image made from video released anonymously to reporters in Pakistan, including the Associated Press on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, which is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Warren Weinstein, a 72-year-old American development worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan by al-Qaida more than two years ago, appealing to President Obama to negotiate his release. The video of Weinstein was the first since two videos released in September 2012. Weinstein, the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors, was abducted from his house in the eastern city of Lahore in August 2011.(AP Photo via AP video)
(AP)

Weinstein, a Maryland resident, was kidnapped in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2011. The 72-year-old had been working in the country for J.E. Austin Associates, a USAID contractor. In the latest video released by al-Qaeda, Weinstein is shown asking President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry to make “hard choices” to help secure his release.

Robert Levinson: Kidnapped in March 2007 by an unknown group


This undated handout photo provided by the family of Robert Levinson after they received it in April 2011, shows retired-FBI agent Robert Levinson. (Levinson Family/AP)

Levinson, a former FBI-agent, disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007. The U.S. government believes that Levinson, in the area to investigate cigarette smuggling, may have been captured by Iranian intelligence officials to be used used as a bargaining chip, but Iran has repeatedly denied any knowledge of what happened to him, and some evidence suggests that he may have been taken out of Iran. In December 2013, it was revealed that he may have gone to Iran at the direction of certain CIA analysts who had no authority to run operations overseas. Unfortunately, Levinson's inclusion on this list needs a caveat: It is not known if Levinson is still alive. The last known proof of life was released over three years ago. He would be 66 years old.

Caitlan Coleman: Kidnapped by Taliban in late 2012


This frame grab from video provided by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle.  (AP Photo/Coleman Family)

Following the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, the families of U.S. citizen Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle decided to release video that appears to show the pair in captivity in Afghanistan. 28-year-old Coleman and her husband had gone missing in Afghanistan in late 2012 while traveling in a mountainous region near Kabul; Coleman was pregnant at the time. According to the Associated Press, the families received the video from man who claimed that the Taliban was holding the couple. This post has been updated to include the news of the video showing Coleman.

Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.
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