Families help remove DC mural dedicated to American hostages taken abroad

Families help remove DC mural dedicated to American hostages taken abroad

A temporary mural paying tribute to Americans wrongfully detained abroad is being removed after adorning a wall in D.C.’s Georgetown Neighborhood for a year-and-a-half. While some individuals featured in the mural have returned home, others remain detained overseas.

Artist Isaac Campbell, reflecting on the mural’s removal, remarked to WTOP, “What’s more unforgettable than a mural that’s deteriorating in Georgetown.” Plans are in place for a more permanent mural to replace it on M Street NW in the upcoming spring.

On Tuesday, families, along with supporters of the Bring Our Families Home Campaign, gathered in front of the White House as part of an event coinciding with the removal of the paper mural. The mural, depicting 19 faces of those wrongfully detained, was initially installed in July 2022 using wheat paste and surpassed its intended few months of display.

Friends and family of the detainees utilized an industrial power washer to take down the Bring Our Families Home Campaign mural. Several individuals, including Paul Rusesabagina and Brittney Griner, have since returned to the U.S., but eight others remain in captivity.

Among those featured, Eyvin Hernandez, a California-based public defender, was abducted by Venezuelan authorities in March 2022. Hernandez, charged with espionage, is enduring a challenging situation in Venezuela, despite being innocent, according to Gladdys Uribe, a friend and classmate.

Zack Shahin, imprisoned in Dubai since 2008 for financial crimes, faces deteriorating physical and mental health. His family, struggling without him, is pushing for his release, emphasizing the broader impact on the entire family.

Majd Kamalmaz, a humanitarian and psychotherapist, was arrested in Syria in 2017, and his family has had no information about his status since then. Kamalmaz’s daughter, Mariam, expressed the family’s anguish, emphasizing the need for U.S. government intervention to seek information and negotiate for his release.