WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ --
A program to raise awareness of the case of Austin Tice, a journalist and
Marine veteran who has been held in Syria for 10 years.
Sunday, August 14 at 2p,m.
National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20045. Ballroom,
Speakers will include the following:
Debra and Marc Tice;
Tony Hunter, CEO, McClatchy;
President John DeGioia, Georgetown University;
Jen Judson, President, The National Press Club
Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State (via video);
Fred Ryan, Publisher, The Washington Post (via video);
U.S. Rep. Al Green (invited);
Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor (invited);
President Joseph R. Biden (invited).
This is a private, invitation only event organized by the National Press Club and the Tice Family. Press Coverage is welcome but please let us know you are coming by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Club has hosted awareness events on the anniversary of Austin's abduction for several years but, during the pandemic, safety issues precluded robust attendance and the Tices participated via video. This will be the first time they have joined us in person for this event. In the 2020 event the Club unveiled The Freedom Clock -- a 24/7 365 large display in the lobby dedicated to tracking the time of Austin's kidnaping in years, days, seconds.
We hope through this event we will raise awareness of who Austin is and discuss the current status of his case and what is being done to bring him home.
In the past year there have been significant breakthroughs in the case including a May 2, 2022 Oval Office meeting with President Biden. In that meeting, the President gave explicit instructions to his National Security team on exactly how they should proceed with respect to engaging with the Syrians. Also, in April 2022, the White House Correspondent's Assn. made Debra Tice a focus of their event and President Biden spoke of his interest in meeting with the Tices and bringing Austin home. Since last Fall The Washington Post has engaged in an unprecedented advertising campaign with dozens of full-page ads, first calling for a meeting with the President and now calling for the government to bring Austin home. In the current campaign they are unveiling a banner on their building. This is the most significant message support provided by The Washington Post for a press freedom case. And McClatchy Newspapers has prepared unprecedented news packages and coverage related to Austin's case. The Tices have made countless TV appearances including recent interviews with Jake Tapper and Lester Holt.
As a reminder, Austin Tice is the only U.S. journalist currently being held overseas. He has been held longer than any U.S. journalist – even Terry Anderson of the Associated Press. The position of the American government is that we have every reason to believe he is alive. The U.S. last sent a delegation to meet with the Syrians about releasing Austin in September of 2020 and there were significant steps taken during the meeting and more follow-up by the U.S. is now urgently required.
The Press Club has engaged in many campaigns to help obtain Austin's release over the years. In the last year these have included a 5k Run for Austin with participation in 13 states and four countries and a Change.org petition signed by 150,000 people as well as news conferences, panels, videos and social media. The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club's non-profit affiliate has created an exhibit on Austin and launched important and successful letter writing campaigns to Congress.
Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club
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