New proof of life for SA journalist kidnapped in Syria (WATCH)

15:09 (GMT+2) Sun, 28 Apr 2019

Kidnapped South African photographer, Shiraaz Mohammad, has appealed to his president and the country for help.

His appeal is contained in a video sent to Dr Imtiaaz Sooliman, the founder of the humanitarian organization, Gift of the Givers.

In a statement on Sunday, Sooliman said: “the proof of life video, made on 13 April 2019, arrived by WhatsApp at 10 pm on 26 April.”

In the video, Mohammad, who had been abducted in 2017 near a Gift of the Givers hospital in Darkoush in Syria, is seen making his plea while a masked gunman stands watch behind him.

He was accused of being a foreign spy, even though he claimed he was documenting the hardships of communities in stress.

“I need your help securing my freedom, please.  I live in fear of my life.  I am scared.

The area that I’m in is being bombed by the Russian Airforce”.

“The bombs are getting closer and closer. I need your help.  Please, help,” Mohammad begged.

Sooliman said that after receiving the video, the second proof of life after the first confirmation was received in January 2018, Mohammad’s family was very emotional.

“They knew for certain that Shiraaz was alive,” he said.

Sooliman also said that an “important event on 12 April led to us successfully receiving this all-important video.”

“Valuable information has been assimilated over his period of captivity. The video presents significant information.  We can't explain the details for now as many lives would be in danger,” he added.