Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 17-01-2017
After being kidnapped more than 5 weeks ago in Syria, Lenasia South photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed may be finally arriving back to South Africa.
Eyewitness News reports that the Syrian government has agreed to free four imprisoned rebel fighters in exchange for the release of Mohamed.
It’s believed the breakthrough is the work of NGO Truth Collective South Africa with the support of Deputy International Relations Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo and the Syrian government.
Truth Collective South Africa also confirmed that Mohamed is alive and being kept in the city of Idlib.
The NGO says it just returned from a 12-day trip to Syria where it tried to broker Mohamed’s deal and has obtained photos and videos of Mohamed, as proof of life.
Mohamad was abducted by a group of men near Darkush en-route to Turkey on the 10th of January allegedly by the Jabhat al-Nusra rebel group which has demanded the release of four fighters in exchange for their hostage.
Director of Truth Collective South Africa Bakar al-Maharmeh told EWN the Syrian government was reluctant at first but they agreed to the swap.
“It’s like really hard for them to accept this offer. I’ve seen a video of those terrorists shown to me in Damascus. What they’ve done, and said they’re willing to do is because South Africa was there when they needed them.”
Al-Maharmeh will depart for Syria next month to secure Mohamed’s release, in an effort bring him home safely. - EWN