MiddBlog, The Addison Independent and CNN are now reporting that Syrian authorities confirmed that they are holding Tik Root ’12 of Middlebury College in custody. Though several other prisoners were released from custody on Friday morning, Root was not among them, a development that made his parents “nervous.”
All three members of the Vermont congressional delegation, Middlebury College, high-ranking officials in the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Damascus are putting pressure on the Syrian government to release Root. Syrian officials reportedly said that if they had picked up an American, it was due to a “misunderstanding.”
Ominously, Root’s social media presence has gone silent. A blog he started to cover the protests in Egypt and had maintained since arriving in Syria has been marked private, several Google Documents were stripped of data and he has not posted to his Facebook wall in days.
The Syrian embassy has released a statement about the matter:
“The Syrian Embassy in Washington was recently made aware of Mr. Pathik Root’s situation and has been following it very closely ever since. We have been in touch with Mr. Root’s parents, his state Senator, and the US embassy in Syria. This is an unfortunate incident that we hope will be resolved as soon as possible.”