South African government still working to rescue kidnapped citizen in Syria


The International Relations and Cooperation department (Dirco) on Wednesday said they are working hard on a South African citizen who recently escaped from detention in northern Syria.

It is alleged that Shiraaz Mohamed, who was held hostage in Syria, recently escaped from his captors, and he’s whereabouts are unknown.

Dirco’s spokeperson, Lunga Ngqengelele told Xinhua they are looking into it, saying that “we are not commenting except to say as the government we are seized with the matter. As soon we got a statement to make we will do so,”

Ngqengelele said divulging information might put Mohamed’s life in danger.

“We are still looking at the information, we don’t want to talk and by doing so put his life in danger. We are in touch with the family,” he said.

The government said that its embassy in Damascus is assisting.

Mohamed’s last video, released by his captors, was three months ago. The Johannesburg photographer pleaded for his life and requested his captors to negotiate with the government and others.

He was abducted in the northern parts of Syria in January 2017 after traveling to the war torn country with an NGO.

In the video he said “his life was in danger.” Despite the fact that no organization has claimed responsibility for his kidnapping, a demand of 1.5 million U.S. dollars as a ransom was made in the videos. His family declined to comment on the matter. Enditem

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