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#FreeAustinTice trending on anniversary of kidnapping in Syria

#FreeAustinTice trending on anniversary of kidnapping in Syria
© Getty Images

The hashtag #FreeAustinTice trended on Twitter Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of the freelance journalist's kidnapping in Syria.

Austin Tice, a former Marine, arrived in Syria in 2012 and traveled the region working for various news organizations before his disappearance.

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The identity of his captors and his current whereabouts remain unclear, though a video from five weeks after his capture was released, showing Tice bound and blindfolded. The State Department believes he remains alive.

“We know he's alive because we've had information from the highest level of our government that he is,” mother Debra Tice told WBUR.

The National Press Club, which has pushed for his release, called on journalists to use the hashtag on Wednesday to "send a message that his freedom matters." The group also created a website for people to send letters to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE calling for Tice's release.

The Houston born 38-year-old is the only American journalist being held abroad.

"Austin Tice was abducted in Syria seven years ago today. No words can describe his family's suffering, or our awe of their determination and perseverance," former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryAmerica needs a whole-of-government approach to studying unidentified aerial phenomena Beware language and the art of manipulation Budowsky: President Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize MORE tweeted.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Cornyn calls on Biden and Harris to visit southern border: 'Y'all come visit' Progressive groups launch .5M ad buy to pressure Sinema on filibuster MORE (R-Texas) described Tice as "someone who risked his life to report on the Syrian Civil War from the inside," while Tice's father shared a birthday message with the hashtag.