#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.


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 PompeoTrump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds Reporter presses Pompeo on whether he met with Giuliani in Warsaw Pompeo: 'I wish the NBA would acknowledge' China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims 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 KerryHe who must not be named: How Hunter Biden became a conversation-stopper Rep. Joe Kennedy has history on his side in Senate bid Green groups line up behind Markey ahead of looming Kennedy fight MORE tweeted.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP braces for impeachment brawl Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe 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.