Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 09-01-2018
Humanitarian organization Gift of the Givers says it has proof that kidnapped South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed is alive and well in Syria.
The organization says it prepared a set of ten questions in consultation with Shiraaz’s family that only he could answer after a group called “The Voice” claimed they knew the whereabouts of the photojournalist.
According to Gift of the Givers, they received a call from The Voice saying “Don't talk to anyone but us, we are the door to Shiraaz”.
Shiraaz was abducted near the Syrian border with Turkey on the 10 January last year while on a humanitarian trip with the Gift of the Givers.
No group has claimed responsibility for his kidnapping.
Gift of the Givers Imtiaz Sooliman says they received a response on Monday night and Shiraaz’s family confirmed that all ten questions were correctly answered.
“At 19h50 on 8 January we received the message that Shiraaz gives "salaams (greetings) for his mother and family and to Gift of the Givers, he is very happy with the questions and wants to be released asap".
Sooliman says Shiraaz’s family is ecstatic that he is alive.
“They all huddled together around the mother, Mrs Shireen Mahomed, and broke out in tears of joy and hope. There was an atmosphere of positivity, a realisation that in spite of all the bombing and unpredictability of terror temperament, Shiraaz was alive.”
Sooliman says the challenge now is to establish why he was kidnapped and what his captors want.
Listen to the interview with Gift of the Givers Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman