Skip to main content

Reports: Missing U.S. reporter held in Syria

From Elwyn Lopez, CNN
September 4, 2012 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
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
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1141 GMT (1941 HKT)
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.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT)
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
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.
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 2025 GMT (0425 HKT)
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.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
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.
June 2, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT)
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
May 31, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT