SABC News - Abducted SA photo-journalist was warned about situation in Syria:Saturday 14 January 2017

Abducted SA photo-journalist was warned about situation in Syria

Saturday 14 January 2017 17:16

Neliswa Mavundla

Photo-journalist Shiraaz Mohamed was abducted near the Turkish border on Tuesday.(Twitter)

Humanitarian Organisation, OperationSA says they had warned missing photo-journalist Shiraaz Mohamed that it was not safe to travel to Syria.

Mohamed was abducted near the Turkish border on Tuesday.

Operation SA's Yusuf Abramjee says they hope for the safe return of Mohammed.

“A few weeks ago, before we left for the Turkish Syrian Border, I received a call from Shiraaz Mohamed saying that he wanted to join a media trip into Syria. We then said to him we are going to explore the possibility of a media visit.”

“During my visit to the Turkish Syrian Border as well as being allowed officially and legally into Syria, on our return, I did inform all of our media contacts as well as Shiraaz that the media will not be allowed into Syria because we overheard while we were in the region that three Indonesian journalists were taken into custody after being found to be in the area. We hope that Shiraaz is safe. We hope that Gift of the Givers who took him into Syria will do their utmost to secure his release,” adds Abramjee.

"But till now (14 January), we haven't heard from him or having information of his whereabouts."

Gift of the Givers’ says Mohamed was keen to go to Syria and for years was trying to get there. In 2017 the organisation facilitated Mohamed's trip to the country.

The organisation's Imtiaz Sooliman says information he has from his team in Syria is that his captors just want to question him.

“He was taken captive by a group of people. Some of our team members where driving him to the Turkish border. When they took him, they didn't threaten him.”

Sooliman adds, “They didn't ask for a licence. They just said there is a misunderstanding that they need to clear up and within three or two days they will return him to the Gift of the Givers hospital. But till now (14 January), we haven't heard from him or having information of his whereabouts. We have a team inside Syria working on the situation.”

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