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South African photojournalist captured in Syria pleads for his release

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Captured South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, believed to be held in war-torn Syria, has pleaded for his freedom in a proof of life video.

The video was received and shared by Gift of the Givers, a local charity organisation said on Sunday, 28 April 2019.

Mohamed was abducted on 10 January 2017 in the vicinity of Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital in Darkoush, Syria, according to the charity.

He was captured along with two other aid workers but his colleagues were released while he was questioned on what was believed to be a misunderstanding by his captors.

Mohamed had travelled to the Middle Eastern country with the Gift of the Givers to witness the humanitarian organisation’s activities and record them pictorially.

In the video, Mohamed is seen pleading for help while holding a placard with a date on it as a masked man stands next to him with a rifle in his hand.

The South African explains that he needed help securing his freedom, saying that he lives in fear of his life daily, scared of his safety.

“I need your help securing my freedom please. I live in fear of my life. I am scared. We are being bombed, the area that I am in is being bombed by the Russian air force. The bombs are getting closer and closer. I need your help. Please help me,” Mohamed pleads.

Gift of the Givers chief executive Imtiaz Sooliman in a statement confirmed that the organisation had received the proof-of-life video, months after receiving the first proof-of-life document.



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