#FreeAustinTice trending on anniversary of kidnapping in Syria

#FreeAustinTice trending on anniversary of kidnapping in Syria
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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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo'China will not sit idly by' if US sells fighters to Taiwan, official says The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Iceland's prime minister will not be in town for Pence's visit 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 Forbes KerryA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Trump's winning weapon: Time The Memo: O'Rourke looks to hit reset button MORE tweeted.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges 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.