In Support of Austin Tice

During the Student Bar Association meeting in the evening of March 15, 1E delegate Ata Akiner proposed a resolution in support of Austin Tice.  The resolution passed unanimously.

Tice is currently registered as a 3L at Georgetown Law, and a 2002 alumnus of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service as well as a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he rose to the rank of Captain.  A photojournalist, Tice traveled to Syria between his 2L and 3L years to cover the emerging conflict in that region.  His work was published across many prominent news outlets, like CBS, BBC and the Washington Post.

Austin Tice disappeared in Syria in  August of 2012.  Tice’s family and the non-profit Reporters Without Borders believe that he is still alive, and have begun the campaign #FreeAustinTice.

During the meeting, one delegate noted that based on the city from which he disappeared, it is suspected that he is being held by Syrian government forces.  The so-called Islamic State has never held the territory Tice disappeared from, and Tice’s disappearance predates their rise to infamy.

The resolution suggests that the Law Center Community “Declare our solidarity and support for our classmate Austin Tice and his family during this difficult time” and advocates for increased awareness  and the holding of a discussion at Georgetown Law.  The resolution also asks for further support from the Law Center on May 3, Free Press Day.  Reporters Without Borders’ #FreeAustinTice campaign can be read here.  Tice’s family has set up a website here.

The resolution is available here – Resolution for Austin Tice.


I was disappointed that I only heard about Austin Tice’s story through the initial proposal of this resolution, halfway through my time at Georgetown Law.  As one of the few student journalists on campus, I feel that it is my duty to endorse and support this resolution and spread his story.

I have never met Austin – he started at Georgetown well before I did.  But we all have lots to learn from him and his story. I may not know him, but what I do know is that I’ll never be half the journalist he is – few journalists will be.  The sheer bravery that it takes to use your law school summer to travel to Syria  -a bona fide warzone – to cover conflict makes him a role model for us all; not just as lawyers or reporters but as people.

Austin’s story is an important one to tell.  In the midst of this chaotic campaign season, it becomes easy to  criticize and demonize journalists. I participate – journalists love to talk about themselves, and how great journalism is. I think that’s true.  But I’m going to do it right now anyway.

Austin’s story is a reminder that journalism is an important public service.  He traveled to what is now one of the most politically chaotic places in the world to show us what was happening.  To give us – safe in our glassy law offices, our ivory towers – a firsthand look at what has become an increasingly tragic civil war.  By merely showing us what is happening. giving us information, a wholly innocent act, he put himself in immense and grave danger.

I wish the world wasn’t one where things like this can happen, but it is.  For now, from one Georgetown Law journalist to another, I hope for your safe return.  And I hope that my fellow students join me.


David Nayer



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