NGO: Mohamed kidnapped to prevent him leaving with info on rebels

Truth Collective SA recently returned from a 12-day trip to Syria where it obtained photos & footage as proof of Shiraaz Mohamed’s life.

Shiraaz Mohamed. Picture: Facebook.com

PRETORIA – A Cape Town based NGO negotiating the release of South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who has kidnapped in Syria last month, says it believes the photojournalist was kidnapped because he’d taken pictures of something the rebels didn’t want him to have.

Truth Collective South Africa recently returned from a 12-day trip to Syria where it obtained photos and video footage as proof of Mohamed’s life.

The NGO says it's supported by the South African and Syrian governments as well as South Africa’s ambassador to that country.

Mohamed was kidnapped near the border with Turkey as he was returning home after accompanying the Gift of the Givers on a humanitarian mission.

Director of Truth Collective South Africa Bakar al-Maharmeh says it’s believed a rebel group kidnapped Mohamed because they wanted to prevent him from leaving the country with pictures or information he had gathered.

“What I understand from the mediator is that he got something in his camera, in his computer, or whatever.”

He says the group has demanded the release of four rebel fighters, who are allegedly responsible for several deadly bomb blasts, which claimed the lives of civilians in the capital Damascus.

LISTEN: NGO director reveals plans to free SA photographer Shiraaz Mohamed

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)