HOUSTON, TX – The release of a former Marine from Texas in a prisoner exchange with Russia gives another Texas mother hope that her son will return home.
After being released from a Russian prison, Trevor Reed arrived at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio early Thursday morning. On Wednesday, the US exchanged him in Turkey for a Russian convicted of drug trafficking in the US. Reed was arrested in 2019 on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, according to Russian authorities.
Katherine Swidan has been watching as video of the exchange in Turkey and photos of Reed’s arrival in San Antonio, while his parents waited, have been widely circulated.
“Seeing Trevor Reed come off the plane and being exchanged gives me hope that maybe the next plane, Mark will be on it,” Swidan told ABC13.
Her son, Mark Swidan, a businessman from Houston, has been in a Chinese detention center for more than nine years, and she has been fighting for his release.
“I need someone to respond to me. Please contact me. “I can’t let my son die here,” Katherine said.
Mark, now 46, was arrested in China in 2012 while on a business trip and accused of being a part of a drug conspiracy. According to his mother, he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. The UN Human Rights Council and other human rights organizations have demanded its release. Mark is still imprisoned in China. Reed’s release provides her with hope.
“I’m hoping that the same thing happens to me.” “It gave me some hope that maybe they’re negotiating it and I’ll get the call and it’ll be done like a nightmare,” Katherine explained.
Mark, she claims, has a scarcity of food. His health is deteriorating, and he has lost over 100 pounds. She had no idea a prisoner swap was an option. Reed’s parents have stated that they were unaware of the negotiations involving their son. So, despite all of Katherine’s unanswered phone calls and emails to politicians and government officials, she remains hopeful that something is being done behind the scenes in Mark’s case.
“It must be done. I don’t want him to perish in that place. He needs to come home so that I can care for him.”
His mother is now raising funds for Mark through a GoFundMe page so that he can buy extra food and clothes at the commissary.