Journalism committee calls for release of SA photographer in Syria

2017-01-18 09:49
SA photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who has been kidnapped in Syria. (Facebook)

SA photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who has been kidnapped in Syria. (Facebook)

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Johannesburg – The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday called for the immediate release of South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who was kidnapped in Syria.

"We call for the immediate release of Shiraaz Mohamed, who entered Syria to help document the plight of Syrian civilians," CPJ's Middle East and North Africa programme co-ordinator, Sherif Mansour, said.

Mohamed, 38, was kidnapped last week, while documenting humanitarian relief efforts in northern Syria.

Unidentified gunmen kidnapped Mohamed and two aid workers in Idlib province while they were travelling to the Turkish border on January 10.

The gunmen freed the two aid workers, but said they were keeping Mohamed for questioning over an unspecified "misunderstanding".

Thus far, no group had claimed responsibility for Mohamed’s kidnapping.

Mansour said it was a stark reminder of the danger of being kidnapped that journalists faced throughout Syria, including in rebel-held Idlib province.

Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Nusra previously offered to help search for Mohamed, as they had an interest in the case, Gift of the Givers CEO Imtiaz Sooliman said on Sunday.

There would be a gathering to pray and offer support for Mohamed’s friends and family in Lenasia on Wednesday evening.

Read more on:    syria  |  johannesburg  |  media freedom  |  kidnappings

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