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'I live in fear of my life' - Gift of the Givers says video of SA journo is real

South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed was abducted near the Ar-Rahma Hospital in that country back in 2017 while documenting the hardships of communities in distress.

A screenshot of a video of abducted SA journalist Shiraaz Mohamed sent to Gift of the Givers. Picture: Gift of the Givers.

JOHANNESBURG - Humanitarian-aid group Gift of the Givers has verified the authenticity of a video of abducted journalist Shiraaz Mohamed in Syria.

Mohamed was abducted near the Ar-Rahma Hospital in that country back in 2017 while documenting the hardships of communities in distress.

"Shiraaz has been accused of being a foreign spy, a disingenuous way to justify the captivity of an innocent man, Gift of the Givers' Imtiaz Sooliman said in a statement.

"On 8 January 2018, the first proof of life was received in the form of answers to ten very personal questions which only Shiraaz could answer. The answers were accurate and Shiraaz's family had no doubt that it was from him."

The video, which is being used to serve as a proof life, shows Mohamed pleading for help from the presidency, friends and family as well as from the humanitarian-aid organisation itself.

He can also be heard saying bombs in the area are being dropped closer to the compound where he is being held captive.

"Anyone that can help, I need your help with 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 airforce. The bombs are getting closer and closer, I need your help."

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