It has taken 2 years and 3 months but finally, Gift of the Givers has received proof of life for journalist Shiraaz Mahomed, who was abducted on 10 January 2017 in the vicinity of Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital in Darkoush, Syria. A photojournalist, with a passion to document the hardships of communities in distress, he wanted to narrate the tragedy of the Syrian people to the world through pictures. Shiraaz has been accused of being a foreign spy, a disingenuous way to justify the captivity of an innocent man. On 8 January 2018, the first proof of life was received in the form of answers to ten very personal questions which only Shiraaz could answer. The answers were accurate and Shiraaz's family had no doubt that it was from him. It has been a very difficult period engaging large networks of people to trace Shiraaz's whereabouts. The proof of life video, made on 13 April 2019, arrived by WhatsApp at 10pm on 26 April. Shiraaz's family was very emotional, ecstatic, full of hope and grateful to the Almighty. They knew for certain that Shiraaz was alive. An important event on 12 April led to us successfully receiving this all important video. Valuable information has been assimilated over his period of captivity. The video presents significant information. We can't explain details for now as many lives would be in danger.Imtiaz SoolimanCel. 0832364029
Publiée par The Citizen News sur Dimanche 28 avril 2019
A video showing South African photo-journalist Shiraaz Mohamed who was kidnapped two years ago in Darkoush, Syria, has surfaced proving he is still alive.
Mohamed’s captors sent the 36-second video via whatsapp to relief agency Gift of the Givers.
In the video, Mohamed is seen sitting down as a masked gunman stands next to him. He makes an appeal to the world to assist in securing his release.
“Doctor Imtiaaz Sooliman [founder of the Gift of the Givers], my South African president, my family, my friends, the international community and anyone who can help in securing my freedom, please,” he said.
“I live in fear of my life. I am scared. The area that I am in has been bombed by the Russian air force; bombs are getting closer and closer. I need your help, please help me,” he pleads in the proof-of-life video shot on April 13, but only released to his family and the NGO on Friday and sent out to the media on Sunday.
“Shiraaz’s family was very emotional, ecstatic, full of hope and grateful to the Almighty. They knew for certain that Shiraaz was alive,” Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman told Anadolu Agency Sunday.
He also said Mohamed’s captors have not yet asked for a ransom.
Sooliman said Mohamed who was abducted two years and 3 months ago in the vicinity of Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital in Darkoush, Syria had a passion to document the hardships of communities in distress.
“He wanted to narrate the tragedy of the Syrian people to the world through pictures,” he said.
Syria tops among the deadliest countries for press members to work in with 14 journalists killed only in 2016 out of a total of 48 across the world, according to New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).