Reuters has reported that kidnapped photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed has returned home.
Mohamed was kidnapped in Syria by IS in January 2017 after travelling there to capture the plight of the war-torn region and its people.
It is reported that he has returned home after being assisted by Turkey’s intelligence agency, but no further details were provided.
In December 2019, NGO Gift of the Givers revealed that the photojournalist had escaped from captivity and was with the Turkish government while engagements on his return went ahead.
This was the last time Mohamed’s escape was reported on.
Family member Shaaziya Brijlal said: “We got a call from Shiraaz at 1pm on Saturday and he promised when he is safe he would call us. We are still waiting for that. However, we have confirmed he did get help at the Turkish border and we know he is in good hands.”
The family said in a statement on Friday: “Owing to his recent circumstances, he and our family are requesting that we be given some space. In due course and soon, we will issue a statement and engage with the media.”
Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman said a man had told them that Mohamed was with Turkish officials and later sent him two pictures as proof that he was alive and safe.
The organisation said details of his escape were sketchy, but that at some point he had been assisted by “friendly” people who were aware of his situation.
His family earlier said they were waiting for confirmation about his whereabouts following the escape and were initially upset that information of his escape was released before they were sure of his safety.
Gift of the Givers denied putting Mohamed’s life in danger, News24 reported.
Updates to follow as information is verified.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder, additional reporting by News24)