Tag Archives: Syria

Tik Root Released From Custody

1 Apr

Good news from Damascus this morning. Middlebury College student Tik Root has been released from Syrian custody this morning, according to a press release from the College.

Root had been held by Syrian authorities for over two weeks after being detained while taking pictures at an anti-government protest. Additional details are few and far between, but this is wonderful news for the Roots, Middlebury and the United States.

Tik Root

Missing Student Tik Root Located, “Safe and Well”

26 Mar

Tik Root

Middlebury College posted an update from Tom Root, the father of missing Middlebury student Tik Root, this morning. Though he remains in the custody of Syrian authorities, Root has been located and is “safe and well.” Currently, the Syrian authorities are responsible for his well-being. In the update, Tom Root thanked Senator Patrick Leahy and Ambassador Imad Moustapha for their work on the case.

Professors Tom Root and Andi Lloyd participated in a wave of press interviews yesterday to spread the word about Tik’s plight. Those included interviews with WCAX-TV (Burlington), WBUR in Boston, and an interview with “CNN In The Arena” with Eliot Spitzer.

We continue to hope for a peaceful and happy ending to this situation shortly.

CONFIRMED: Tik Root Held By Syrian Authorities

25 Mar

Tik Root

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.”

Middlebury Student Tik Root Missing in Syria

24 Mar

Tik Root Missing in Syria

A Middlebury College student has been missing since last Friday in Damascus, Syria. Tik Root ’12 was last seen at a political protest that encountered opposition from pro-government forces.

At the rally, police arrested and beat around 30 people. Root’s father believes he was among that group. Before enrolling at an independent study program in Damascus, Root studied at the Middlebury school abroad in Alexandria, Egypt. The students from that program were evacuated as the situation in the country worsened, and arrived back in the United States. Root, though, wished to return to the region and did so through an independent program.

The story has gained a lot of national attention with The Huffington Post picking it up. As someone who’s worked with Tik on several occasions, I know he’s a great guy and certainly hope for some good news as soon as possible. It’s a reminder to everyone out there that the situation in the Middle East remains extremely volatile. The State Department has opened an investigation into Root’s whereabouts.