National Press Club urges release of captive US journalist


WASHINGTON, DC – National Press Club leaders lauded Syria’s release Friday of Kevin Patrick Dawes, an American citizen who had been detained since October 2012, and they expressed the hope that Austin Tice, a US journalist who has been missing in Syria for even longer, will soon be set free.

Tice, a freelance reporter, was working in Syria for the Washington Post and McClatchy Newspapers, among others, when he disappeared more than three and a half years ago. He is believed to be alive and in detention, but his captors are unknown.

The National Press Club conferred on Tice last year the 2015 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award, given to people who exemplify journalism’s struggle to tell the truth even in dire circumstances.

“Tice is now the only American journalist known to be in captivity, and he has been missing for far too long,” said National Press Club President Thomas Burr. “We hope Jim O’Brien, the first Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, can succeed in bringing Tice home to his family at the earliest possible date.”

The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The club promotes press freedom and transparency worldwide through its Press Freedom Committee.