Austin Tice

Right now seems to be Georgetown University Law Center’s time in the spotlight. Last month, a recent GULC grad, Sandra Fluke, addressed the Democratic National Convention. Last night, we wrote about another Georgetown law alum and his creative but controversial solution to student loan debt.

Many of you have been following the story of Austin Tice, a current Georgetown law student. Tice, a freelance journalist and former Marine, made headlines back in August, when he went missing in war-torn Syria.

Today we bring you news, both good and bad, about Austin Tice….

Over the summer, while his classmates were being wined and dined by law firms, Tice worked as a journalist in Syria, filing articles for the Washington Post and the McClatchy newspaper chain. But then he went missing. As we previously mentioned, Tice has not been heard from since on or about August 13. (He last tweeted on August 11.)

“In case you guys hadn’t seen, a video has surfaced of Austin,” a GULC tipster told us today. “The video is really scary, and people from the Georgetown community are kind of shaken up about the whole thing.”

Here’s a report from the New York Times:

A Web site that supports the Syrian government publicized a video clip on Monday that showed Austin Tice, an American freelance journalist, to be alive but held hostage by what appeared to be Islamist militants….

The 47-second video, with the headline “Austin Tice Still Alive,” shows frightening scenes of masked gunmen jerking Mr. Tice along a trail through low hills. One captor holds what looks to be a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Mr. Tice kneels, and the men force him to repeat in clumsy Arabic the prayer that Muslims traditionally recite before dying. Mr. Tice then says in English, “Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus,” sounding breathless and frightened. Then he lowers his head, and the video ends with him, unhurt, resting his head on the arm of a captor.

You can watch the video here (or via the embed below). The good news is that Tice appears to be alive; as his parents, Marc and Debra Tice, said in a statement, “Knowing Austin is alive and well is comforting to our family.” The bad news is that he appears to be in captivity and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Questions have been raised about the authenticity of the video and whether it might have been staged. See the New York Times and the Huffington Post for more.

We heard from a number of GULC sources who know Tice. Here’s what one of them wrote:

This story is just getting crazier. I am scared for Austin and hope he’s being treated decently — he’s definitely not a perfect person, but he certainly does not deserve what he’s going through.

And here are comments from a second source:

Thanks for your post on Austin Tice. He was in Evidence with me and I always used to run into him at the gym.

While he seemed to rub a lot of people at GULC the wrong way…. I never had a problem with him, always found him funny, and his version of the [complex personal drama previously covered on ATL] at least seemed sincere, though I don’t know enough about it to form an opinion.

[I hope that Austin will] come out on top and live to tell (and write, and post, and laugh) about [everything]. At least that’s what I hope, but civil war in Syria is no joke.

No joke indeed. We hope that Austin Tice is released and reunited with his family and friends as soon as possible.

Austin Tice still alive [YouTube]
Austin Tice, Journalist Missing In Syria, Shown Alive In New Footage [Huffington Post]
Analysts Say Video of American Held in Syria May Have Been Staged [The Lede / New York Times]
Video Seems to Show American Journalist Being Held by Islamists in Syria [New York Times]


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