Free American Journalist Steven Sotloff [White House Petition] #FreePress
Yesterday, August 19, 2014, it was revealed that Time reporter Steven Sotloff is a captive of the Islamist terrorist organization IS (Islamic State). Steven appeared at the end of a video in which reporter James Foley was beheaded in retaliation for recent US intervention in Iraq. In the video, Steven is seen at the end declaring that he will be next.
I met Steven while living in Tel Aviv in 2011. I remember that we met around the day of the Royal Wedding, because he was laughing at the way my friends and I were glued to the TV all day long. He was a young reporter, coming off time spent in Egypt and eager to hone his craft, improve his Arabic, eat schwarma, drink beer, and get back into the field as quickly as possible. For him that meant Libya during the Arab Spring, Cairo, and ultimately Syria to report on the civil war. At some point in 2012 Steven came to New York, fresh from his time in Libya, which meant we were able to catch up on each others’ lives a bit. We went for Chinese food and hung out with my brother and sister-in-law, drinking beer and talking about his work, his travels, and all of his experiences since our last encounter.
Sadly, Steven has not been seen or heard from since August of 2013. Sometime last fall I realized I hadn’t heard from my friend in a few months. Usually active on Twitter or Facebook, always there to Skype when he had internet service, Steven had suddenly gone silent. I contacted Steven’s sister, who confirmed my fear that he had gone missing and was thought to have been kidnapped near Aleppo. The US State Department had told the Miami-based Sotloff family to remain quiet in the hopes that he would be released.
The quiet ends today. According to the Islamic State, Steven will be killed next as retribution for US airstrikes in Iraq. We must do everything in our power to keep him safe. Please sign the petition to bring Steven home on whitehouse.gov.
We, call upon you, President Obama, to take immediate action to save Steven’s life by any means necessary.
Please sign the petition, share it, and contact your congressman and representatives. Let’s bring Steven home to his family.