A South African freelance photographer kidnapped in January 2017 in Syria by a group of unidentified gunmen returned to his country, his ex-wife was told on Friday.
Shiraaz Mohamed had been kidnapped on January 10, 2017 outside a hospital of the South African non-governmental organization Gift of the Givers in Darkouch, a Syrian city located 100 km west of Aleppo (northwest), near from the Turkish border.
« Shiraaz Mohamed is back home » in South Africa, his ex-wife Shirley Brijlal told AFP on Friday. “Given the circumstances, he and his family demand respect for their privacy. When the time comes, we will issue a press release, ”she added.
In mid-December, the NGO said that Shiraaz Mohamed had « fled », but his family said they had no contact with him.
On Friday, the photographer’s ex-wife did not specify the circumstances of the photographer’s release or flight.
The South African foreign ministry, which said it had « worked with all parties involved to secure his release, » said he was « very very pleased » with the reporter ‘s return to South Africa, leaving the care of his family. to communicate on the subject.
In 2018, Gift of the Givers announced that it had received indirect evidence that the photographer was alive, in the form of answers to a series of questions. A year later in 2019, she claimed to have received a video proving that he was still alive.