In a statement on Sunday, Gift of the Givers’ Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said they had finally received conclusive proof that journalist Shiraaz Mohamed was still alive in Syria, where he was abducted more than two years ago.
“It has taken two years and theee months but finally, Gift of the Givers has received proof of life for journalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who was abducted on 10 January 2017 in the vicinity of Gift of the Givers Ar Rahma Hospital in Darkoush, Syria,” he said.
“A photojournalist, with a passion to document the hardships of communities in distress, he wanted to narrate the tragedy of the Syrian people to the world through pictures. Shiraaz has been accused of being a foreign spy, a disingenuous way to justify the captivity of an innocent man,” said Sooliman.
“On 8 January 2018, the first proof of life was received in the form of answers to 10 very personal questions which only Shiraaz could answer. The answers were accurate and Shiraaz’s family had no doubt that it was from him.”
In the video below, Shiraaz can clearly be seen holding up a sign with the date the footage was presumably shot. He pleads for help and says that Russian air force bombing efforts from are getting closer to where Mohamed is being held.
Shiraaz says: “I live in fear of my life. I am scared … I need your help. Please help me.”
Watch the video below. You may have to activate the audio manually.
Added Sooliman: “It has been a very difficult period engaging large networks of people to trace Shiraaz’s whereabouts. The proof of life video, made on 13 April 2019, arrived by WhatsApp at 10pm on 26 April.
“Shiraaz’s family was very emotional, ecstatic, full of hope and grateful to the Almighty. They knew for certain that Shiraaz was alive.
“An important event on 12 April led to us successfully receiving this all-important video. Valuable information has been assimilated over his period of captivity. The video presents significant information. We can’t explain details for now as many lives would be in danger.”
(Edited by Charles Cilliers)