US ‘directly engaged’ with Syrian officials on Austin Tice case | Media News

State Division spokesman renews pledge to safe return of US journalist believed to be held by Syrian authorities.

The USA has “immediately engaged” with Syrian officers on the detention of US journalist Austin Tice, a spokesman for the US Division of State stated, because the Biden administration renewed its pledge to safe Tice’s protected return to the nation.

“We’ve engaged extensively, and that features immediately with Syrian officers and thru third events,” spokesman Ned Value instructed reporters on Monday afternoon, with out specifying what stage of US-Syrian state contact had been made.

“Sadly regardless of our calls, regardless of our engagement, regardless of the engagement of third events in different international locations, Syria has by no means acknowledged holding him. However we aren’t going to be deterred in our efforts,” Value stated.

“We’re going to pursue each avenue for securing Austin’s protected return to [his parents] Debra and Marc and to his complete household.”

US President Joe Biden stated final week that his administration knew with “certainty” that Tice, who was kidnapped within the Syrian capital Damascus in August 2012, was being held by Syria’s authorities.

“On the tenth anniversary of his abduction, I’m calling on Syria to finish this and assist us deliver him dwelling,” Biden stated in an announcement.

Syria has by no means acknowledged detaining Tice, who had reported for The Washington Put up and McClatchy newspapers, amongst different information retailers.

Other than a “proof of life video just a few weeks” after he disappeared, there was no official info on whether or not he’s alive or lifeless, his household has stated. However the 10-year anniversary of Tice’s disappearance has renewed stress on the Biden administration to safe his launch.

“Mr. Biden ought to immediately ask Syria’s chief for proof that Mr. Tice is alive. There was solely silence for too lengthy,” the Washington Put up’s editorial board wrote in an article final week, urging Syria to launch the journalist.

“Tice’s household deserve solutions, and so do the households of tens of hundreds of others who’ve been kidnapped, arbitrarily detained, and forcibly disappeared by the Syrian authorities, armed anti-government teams, and extremist armed teams just like the Islamic State (ISIS),” Human Rights Watch researcher Hiba Zayadin additionally wrote on Monday.

The renewed concentrate on Tice’s case additionally comes because the Biden administration faces widespread calls to safe the discharge of different Individuals detained outdoors the nation, together with basketball star Brittney Griner, who has been held in Russia since mid-February on drug prices.

Biden final month signed an government order that aimed “to discourage and disrupt hostage-taking and wrongful detentions” of US residents overseas.

The order additionally directed authorities departments to bolster engagement and share related info with households in regards to the standing of their family members and US efforts to safe their launch or return.

Tice’s dad and mom stated throughout an occasion in Washington on Sunday that the 10-year anniversary of their son’s disappearance is painful, however that they haven’t misplaced hope. “I cautiously imagine that issues are transferring in the best path,” stated Debra Tice, as reported by McClatchy.

“I imagine we are going to quickly see Austin stroll free and convey this lengthy journey to an finish,” she stated, including that the US authorities “is making higher efforts than they have been earlier than” and that there’s a “technique”.

Turkey: Man arrested after kicking elderly Syrian woman in video | Refugees News

The assault is an instance of rising anti-Syrian racism in Turkey, social media customers say.

An aged Syrian lady is recovering in hospital after being kicked within the face by a person within the Turkish metropolis of Gaziantep, within the midst of a rising wave of anti-refugee sentiment within the nation.

A video, shared extensively in Turkey and Syria over the previous few days, exhibits the lady, Leyla Muhammed, attacked whereas she sat on a bench.

The attacker, named by police as Sakir Cakir, has been arrested on fees of willful damage. The Turkish citizen mentioned he had been instructed that Muhammed was a kidnapper, in accordance with a press release he gave to police.

The sufferer is mentally disabled, native information experiences indicated.

“The one that beat Leyla has been arrested. She has been admitted to the hospital and her therapy has begun. Along with my spouse and colleagues, we visited her and conveyed the needs of our pricey nation for her to get effectively quickly. We stand with the oppressed towards the oppressor,” mentioned Gaziantep Governor Davut Gul in a press release on Twitter after visiting the hospital.

Gaziantep is a metropolis of two million folks positioned close to the Syrian border, and can also be residence to almost half one million Syrian refugees.

Turkey hosts 3.7 million Syrians, whereas the variety of these looking for refuge within the nation from Afghanistan and different nations has additionally steadily elevated.

Polls point out that almost all of Turkish residents need the refugees to return to their international locations, and one more and more standard opposition politician, Umit Ozdag, has framed his complete platform on promising to ship them again.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pushed again towards that sentiment and has introduced that refugees are welcome in Turkey. Erdogan has, nonetheless, inspired resettlement for individuals who wish to return to Syria.

It’s a politically dangerous stance as Turkey’s subsequent elections are due in 2023, and plenty of Turkish residents maintain refugees chargeable for the continued financial disaster within the nation, with the Turkish lira experiencing extreme devaluation and inflation reaching alarming charges.

Solidarity with Leyla

Former Gaziantep parliamentarian Samil Tayyar famous in a tweet that Cakir has an intensive felony document.

The assault has been condemned by quite a lot of people and organisations on social media.

Many Syrians have taken pictures covering one facet of their face with their palm, imitating a picture of Muhammed after she had been hit.

“It’s a kick within the face of humanity and one among many for us as Syrians. I’m standing in solidarity with the 70-year-old Syrian lady, Leyla, who was kicked in her face yesterday by a racist in Gaziantep, Turkey,” tweeted Syrian journalist Husam Hezaber.

Turkey’s Worldwide Refugee Rights Affiliation said that it was monitoring the state of affairs.

“All felony complaints and court docket proceedings relating to the attacker shall be adopted to the very finish by the attorneys of our affiliation,” the organisation mentioned on Twitter.

Others highlighted the video as an extra instance of violence in direction of ladies in Turkey.

“The kick launched on the Syrian lady was launched towards all of humanity. On daily basis, hundreds of immigrant ladies are subjected to torture, violence and humiliation. We are going to completely carry to account this racism and this violence,” Turkey’s Girls’s Solidarity Committees mentioned.