WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Austin Tice is an award-winning journalist who has been unjustly detained in Syria since 2012. The following is a statement released by the Tice family on the occasion of his 40th birthday:
Our son, Austin Tice, was working as a journalist in Syria when he was arrested near Damascus on August 14, 2012. Aside from a proof of life video a few weeks later, he has been held in secret and in silence.
This week, on August 11, our family will celebrate Austin's 40th birthday. We will celebrate with heartfelt gratitude that such an exceptional man, who has such a big brave heart, was gifted to our family. Austin fills the room with energy and enthusiasm, we miss his contagious laugh. We miss being able to share our love with him. As his parents, we will reflect on the overwhelming joy we felt when we first held him in our arms - arms which ache to hug him again.
We will continue to faithfully pray, expectantly wait, and relentlessly work for his safe return.
Also this week, we will grieve and detest Austin's detention day, August 14, nine long years ago. Austin had just celebrated his 31st birthday three days before he was arrested. It is a piercing sense of loss to consider that Austin has spent almost all of his 30's deprived of his liberty and the pursuit of his dreams.
Our love and grief combine to fuel our determination and create a sense of urgency as we continue working for his secure release and safe return.
At the very same time, we are deeply grateful that in these past nine years our lives have been blessed by amazing, steadfast people and organizations which are unwavering in their outpouring of kindness and support.
We are also intensely frustrated by the irresolute, on-again-off-again involvement of our government and its insufficient resolve to secure Austin's release.
Nevertheless, we are resolute. We are now imploring a third President of the United States to communicate to his administration that Austin's secure release and safe return is a priority. There are many capable people working in our government who are eager to see Austin walk free; they must have President Biden's authorization for significant and relevant diplomatic engagement with the Syrian government.
As with the past nine years, we continue to plead for the American and the Syrian governments to sincerely engage in a serious dialogue focused on Austin's secure release and safe return.
We will pray, wait, and work to see Austin walk free. May it be soon.
Marc and Debra Tice
~ Faith ~ Hope ~ Love ~
CONTACT: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club or [email protected]
SOURCE National Press Club