Skip to main content

Reports: Missing U.S. reporter held in Syria

From Elwyn Lopez, CNN
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Tue September 4, 2012
A picture shows Austin Tice in an undisclosed location. The U.S. journalist went missing two weeks ago.
A picture shows Austin Tice in an undisclosed location. The U.S. journalist went missing two weeks ago.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Washington Post says Austin Tice is being held in Damascus
  • Tice, 31, hasn't been heard from in two weeks
  • He reported for the Post, McClatchy Newspapers, and others
  • His family is pleading for his release

(CNN) -- U.S. journalist Austin Tice, who went missing while working in Syria two weeks ago, has been captured and is being held in Syrian government custody, The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing a senior diplomat and others familiar with the matter.

The Post is one of several news outlets for which Tice, 31, filed stories since he began reporting from Syria in May. He also reported for McClatchy Newspapers and Al-Jazeera English.

Tice's family immediately called for his release, saying in a statement, "Austin is our precious son, and we beseech the Syrian government to treat him well and return him safely to us as soon as possible."

Video of slain journalist's final hours
Japanese journalist killed in Syria
Reporter in Syria: Intense shelling

The executive editor of The Post, Marcus Brauchli, also urged authorities to release Tice, as did Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchy's vice president for news.

"We welcome the news that Austin Tice is likely being held by the Syrian government, although this has still not been confirmed by government authorities," Gyllenhaal said in a statement. "If this is indeed the case, it means we move to a new stage of waiting for his release.

"There's no basis for detaining a journalist. Austin is a respected and very dedicated reporter and we would expect his immediate release."

Tice's last public post was August 11 on Twitter, where he said he spent the day with members of the rebel Free Syrian Army at a pool party with music.

The U.S. State Department has been working through the Czech Embassy in Damascus to learn details of Tice's whereabouts.

The Post and the Committee to Protect Journalists, an advocacy group, both reported it was the Czech ambassador to Syria who first revealed the news about Tice on Thursday.

Reporters Without Borders, another advocacy group, says Syria is one of the most dangerous places for journalists. Ten have been killed since the start of the conflict early last year, it says.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
The little boy looks barely old enough to walk, let alone understand the dark world he's now inhabiting.
updated 12:22 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
ISIS has released video of the aftermath of a mass execution. Another video shows alleged captured Peshmerga soldiers.
updated 5:33 AM EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
The number of people who have fled Syria and registered as refugees amid the country's civil war will surpass 3 million Friday.
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, grew up in the Minneapolis area, but died more than 6,000 miles away in Syria, fighting for ISIS.
updated 4:54 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
If the United States is serious about thoroughly defeating ISIS, it must, somehow, go through Syria.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
More than 100,000 people reportedly have been killed in Syria since a popular uprising in 2011 spiraled into a civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT