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Marc Fogel’s mother makes plea to Donald Trump

‘I need to see my son’
Malphine Fogel tears up while talking about her son Marc, a Russian detainee, during a news conference at her home in Butler to discuss her lawsuit against Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, June 20. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

The 95-year-old mother of Marc Fogel, the Butler native and international teacher detained in a Russian prison, is asking former President Donald Trump to meet with her to discuss her son’s case when he makes a campaign stop in Butler County on Saturday, July 13.

Malphine Fogel said she has not heard about her son from either the U.S. State Department or President Joe Biden, who has previously called for the release of other American nationals detained in Russia, despite the family’s pleas to the president.

On July 28, Marc Fogel will turn 63 behind bars, his mother said. He has been imprisoned in Russia for nearly three years, but has yet to be designated as wrongfully detained.

“As the matriarch of the Fogel family, I am respectfully asking former President Trump, Republican nominee for president, to meet with me on Marc’s behalf while he will be in Butler this Saturday,” she said in a video released Wednesday. “I’m hoping that President Trump will take the time to understand the importance of America standing behind a teacher from a regular family in a small town (in) Pennsylvania and express support for designating Marc as wrongfully detained and bringing him home, as the Biden administration did with Brittney Griner and as President Trump has committed to do with Evan Gershkovich.”

“President Biden has ignored all our pleas to meet with him to discuss Marc’s case in almost three years,” Malphine Fogel said.

“We have never heard him mention his name nor has his State Department gotten in touch with us at any time,” she said.

In June, the family filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Department of State urging Blinken to take action and review Marc Fogel’s case under the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act. The suit alleges the Department of State’s report to Congress has misstated facts, indicating a failure to review his case.

Marc Fogel had taught in international schools around the world and was in his final year of teaching at the Anglo-American School of Moscow when he was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport on Aug. 14, 2021, for possessing less than 1 ounce of medical marijuana.

He was 60 at the time of his arrest and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Advocates for Marc Fogel’s release will attend Trump’s rally held at the Butler Farm Show grounds Saturday, placing signs near the grounds and wearing shirts displaying his name to spread awareness, according to Facebook group Freedom for Marc Fogel.

“I’m now 95 years old,” Malphine Fogel said. “My time is a luxury. I need to see my son and Marc needs to see me.”

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