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SA photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed’s family cautious amid ‘escape’ reports

Aid organisation Gift of the Givers confirmed on Sunday that Mohamed escaped from captivity in Syria and was handed over to Turkish authorities.

The latest picture of SA photographer Shiraaz Mohamed from the Gift of the Givers on Sunday 15 December 2019. Picture: @GiftoftheGivers/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - While the exact details surrounding abducted photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed’s escape from captivity are still sketchy, his family on Sunday asked for space while they waited for communication from the relevant authorities.

Aid organisation Gift of the Givers confirmed that Mohamed escaped from captivity in Syria and was handed over to Turkish authorities. The Johannesburg based photographer was taken by unknown masked men while on assignment in 2017.

According to the Gift of the Givers’ founder Imtiaz Sooliman, the organisation received information from an unknown source at the weekend that Mohamed was a free man.

“Somebody called us to inform us that Shiraaz is free,” he said.

His family had since reacted following the latest developments, saying considering the sensitive nature of Mohamed’s circumstances it would be irresponsible to make any public comments at this stage, and they were concerned it could endanger his life.

They were also still waiting for independent confirmation from the relevant authorities regarding his safe return home.

“Considering the sensitive nature of his circumstance we believe it is irresponsible to make any public comment as it may endanger his life. We will keep the media informed once we have received independent confirmation that Shiraaz is safely with the relevant authorities,” the family said in a statement.