I am writing to urge you to continue employing all diplomatic means to secure the safe release and return of Austin Tice. As you know, the U.S. government believes Austin is alive and being detained by an affiliate of the Syrian government.
I realize you have many competing priorities as the nation’s top diplomat. I am heartened by the successful return of many hostages under President Trump and by the commitment he has shown to securing the safe release of those who remain in captivity. I wish Ambassador Robert O’Brien every success as the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.
Please continue to make Austin’s freedom an urgent priority. It has been seven years. It is time for Austin to come home.
Austin Tice, a writer and photographer, was detained in Syria in August 2012, three days after his 31st birthday. The U.S. government believes Austin is alive and being held by an affiliate of the Syrian government. He is the only American journalist currently being held overseas.
As a member of Congress, you have the power to ensure that every effort is being made to secure Austin’s freedom. Please join us in asking the White House and the State Department to continue to treat Austin’s return as an urgent priority and to use every diplomatic means available to secure Austin’s safe release. You can help by asking the Secretary’s office for a briefing on this matter.
Austin is a recipient of the George Polk Award for War Reporting, the McClatchy Newspapers President’s Award, the ASJA Conscience in Media Award, and the National Press Club John Aubuchon Freedom of the Press Award. Austin is enrolled in Georgetown Law, a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a veteran Captain in the United States Marine Corps, and an Eagle Scout. Please help bring him home now.