Looking to raise awareness about captive American journalist Austin Tice, Reporters Without Borders has teamed with the Newseum in Washington, D.C., which will display a banner on its facade—sharing space with the First Amendment that is chiseled permanently into that facade.
Tice is a freelance journalist (CBS, BBC, NPR) who has been held in Syria since Aug. 14, 2012. Tice is the only American journalists still held captive in Syria, according to the group, which says multiple sources report he is still alive.
The banner will be unfurled Nov. 2, which is the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, The move comes as President Obama prepares to leave office.
"In its prominent position on ‘America’s Main Street,’ this banner is intended to remind the President of his obligation to secure Austin’s safe return," said Tice's parents Debra and Marc Tice, in a statement. "It will also remind all who see it of the very real risks journalists take to ensure the basic human right to freedom of information, opinion, and expression.”
Tice has won multiple awards for his war reporting, including a Polk Award and the 2015 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award.
Reporters Without Borders also has an online petition to the President asking him to use all diplomatic means to secure Tice's return as part of its #FreeAustinTice social media campaign, which also includes a "Blindfold Pledge," in which individuals take and post photos of themselves in blindfolds to make the point that when journalists are silenced, everyone is deprived of information.