August 13, 2021

Risch: It’s Past Time We Bring American Detainees like Austin Tice Home

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement ahead of the August 14 anniversary of American citizen Austin Tice’s kidnapping in Syria:

“On August 14, 2012, American journalist Austin Tice was kidnapped at a roadside checkpoint in Damascus, Syria. Nine years later, and just days after his 40th birthday, Austin sadly remains in captivity.

“It is a travesty that Austin and other American citizens such as Paul Whelan, Trevor Reed, Siamak and Baquer Namazi, Danny Fenster, the CITGO 6, and others are still in detention under horrific conditions abroad. The previous administration brought home many detained American citizens to reunite them with their loved ones.

“I will continue to support the work of Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens in his efforts to help repatriate these Americans, but it is also time for the administration to prioritize this issue in our relationships with countries that continue to arbitrarily detain and imprison American citizens. We must not rest until every American is safely returned home.”