Family of Austin Tice Still Asking for His Safe Return

Freelance journalist still being held in Syria, 6 months after his abduction.

On Augist, 14, 2012, Austin Tice, a Georgetown Law student, former US Marine, and freelance journalist went missing in Syria while covering the civil war for the Washington Post and McClatchy Newspapers. The Washington Post reported in December, “Tice crossed into Syria without authorization from the government in May and spent time with rebels in the north before traveling to Damascus in July.” Apparently it was while he was preparing to leave Syria that he was taken captive. There has been conflicting information concerning who is holding Tice, US and Western diplomats say that “[We] believe Tice is being held by the embattled Syrian government,” but a video posted on YouTube in late September, 2012, may indicate he is being held by Islamist extremists. However, experts believe the video and the supposed extremists that appear in it may have been staged.

Other than the video, there has been no word from Syria, official or otherwise as to the location or status of Austin Tice. The family has a webpage, and an active Twitter feed @FreeAustinTice to keep his story alive and to update supporters. On February, 14, 2013, exactly 6 months after their son disappeared, they posted an update and asked for the continued support in the hopes that their son will soon be returned to them.

Six months ago, on August 14, we unknowingly began marking time with silence.  On that day, our cherished son and beloved brother, journalist Austin Tice, was taken captive in Syria.  Despite our best efforts, and the efforts of our government, many friends and journalists, as well as kind strangers, we still do not know with certainty who is holding Austin or how to secure his release.  We appeal to whoever is holding Austin to treat our son well, keep him safe, and return him to us.  We urge anyone with information to contact us through our website: www.austinticefamily.com.

This was to be Austin’s last semester at Georgetown Law School.  Rather than pursue the traditional summer internship, Austin felt compelled to travel to Syria as a journalist.  Equipped with cameras, an exquisite writing talent, and an instinct for finding his way to the center of things, in May our son crossed over the Turkish border into Syria.  He courageously embraced the risks of freelancing in the pursuit of truth.  He wanted to both experience and understand the fundamental motivations of the Syrian people.  He was committed to preserving an accurate history for the children of Syria, whose future continues to be altered day by day.  His work, published by McClatchy News, The Washington Post, CBS, CNN, the BBC and others, fulfills that commitment.  His work demonstrated keen insight and provided thoughtful analysis as he worked to objectively give an account of all sides of this most complicated story.

Watch the video:

Photo: YouTube

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About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.

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