WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) - A local contractor working on a project in Afghanistan has been freed after he was beaten and detained in Kabul.
David Gordon, a diesel mechanic for Tamerlane Global Services, Inc. based in Reston, Va., was arrested by local police officers Wednesday morning and imprisoned without charges by orders of the Afghan Deputy Attorney General's Office.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. Friday morning, WAVY.com learned Gordon had been released. Tamerlane CEO Jim O'Brien said Gordon was released due to intense pressure from the media and Rep. Scott Rigell's (R-VA) involvement.
Gordon's wife was the first to get the news.
O'Brien said Gordon is safe with the International Security Assistance Force on the ground in Kabul. The CEO said Afghan officials first tried to take the contractor to the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan.
Gordon was turned away because his credentials and passport were taken from him in jail. According to O'Brien, United States Marines stepped in when they saw what was happening at the gates of the embassy. The Marines were able to connect Gordon with ISAF. When ISAF arrived, Tamerlane attorneys showed up with them.
O'Brien did not know what Gordon's medical condition was Friday, but said he is receiving treatment. They hope to have him back in Virginia by early next week.
Afghan officials were asking for $2.4 million in exchange for Gordon's release. It is unknown if they got the money they were seeking.
Thursday, Rigell called for Secretary of State John Kerry and the Department of Defense's involvement in the incident.
"He has been beaten, he has been slashed," O'Brien told WAVY.com Thursday. "Glass was broken across his head. We know he has had to get stitches, he has had some internal bleeding issues as well."
Gordon was working on a project for the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, tracking trucks delivering fuels to military bases in Afghanistan. O'Brien said Gordon had spent about a week and a half in Afghanistan and was scheduled to stay for two months.
O'Brien spoke candidly of Gordon and his role within the company as well as the reason for his imprisonment.
"[Gordon] was arbitrarily thrown into prison without charge," O'Brien said Thursday. "We believe this involves a business dispute that was currently in the federal courts in the U.S ., one that is going well for Tamerlane , and not so well for the Afghan parties."
O'Brien said he believes Gordon was "an individual on the ground they could grab" because of the dispute.
Gordon is a father of two and has a third child on the way. O'Brien said the U.S. Embassy and the State Department were not helpful in assisting with the incident, and that this kind of incident has never happened with his company before.
Below is a transcript of the letter to Kerry, asking for help in expediting Gordon's release.
Dear Secretary Kerry,
An American contractor, Mr. David Gordon, is being illegally detained in Qomandani Amanya, Kabul Afghanistan. We request the Department of State expedite his release from detention.
Mr. Gordon is a contractor working for Tamerlane Global Services, which is located in northern Virginia. He is a father of two with another child on the way. He was detained April 3, 2013 without any charges levied against him. Additionally, the Deputy Attorney General within the Afghan Attorney General's office referenced that this was related to an ongoing commercial contract dispute and is asking for US $2.4 million for his release.
We were deeply concerned to learn that Mr. Gordon was beaten during the night of April 3, sustaining several injuries, and was not sent to the infirmary until April 4, 2013. The threats that he is receiving and the demonstrated lack of protection during his confinement give us serious concern about his welfare.
We request that the Department of State intervene and expedite the release of this illegally detained American.
Thank you for your prompt attention on this matter, and we look forward to your response.
Representative Scott Rigell (VA-02)
Representative Frank Wolf (VA-10)
Representative Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Stay with WAVY.com for more on this developing story.
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