Difficult time for Shiraaz Mohamed’s family

2017-04-19 10:22
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 – Missing South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed's 39th birthday on Tuesday was particularly a difficult time for his family.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mohamed’s sister, Sumaya, 36, said they were praying for him.

"Today is our precious brother’s birthday, an especially difficult day for us. We continue to pray and we have complete faith in The Almighty and His infinite mercy. Please keep our brother in your prayers.

"We thank Gift of the Givers for their continued help and support. The family, being the sole representatives of my brother, are regularly briefed and have had numerous face to face meetings with Doctor Imtiaz Sooliman and Anas Al Hamati. 

“We are informed of the behind the scenes activity and their ongoing efforts to locate and return our brother. We have been advised that it is in the best interests of our brothers safety not to elaborate on those discussions. We greatly appreciate the public’s support and appeal to all to please keep our brother in your prayers," she said.

It has been 14 weeks since Mohamed went missing in Syria.

A group of men kidnapped him while he was en route to Turkey, near Darkush, in January.

In February, the family expressed concerns over claims made by Cape Town-based NGO, Truth Collective South Africa, that it was working with Mohamed’s abductors to have him returned home safely and unharmed.

It claimed it had made contact with a mediator between rebel groups and the Syrian government and that it had been established that Mohamed was alive and being held by Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib.

The organisation said the South African and Syrian governments were helping it to facilitate Mohamed’s release.

Jabhat al-Nusra apparently offered to release Mohamed in exchange for four of their members the Syrian government was holding, according to reports.

The South African government and the family said they had had no knowledge of this.

At the time, Mohamed’s family questioned the organisation’s intentions as they had never contacted the family to inform them about the plan to try and get Mohamed back home. 

Read more on:    shiraaz mohamed  |  syria  |  media

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