Gift of the Givers' founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman revealed that the organisation had met with one of Shiraaz Mohamed's kidnappers.

Cape Town -  Gift of the Givers' founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman revealed that the disaster relief organisation had met with one of Shiraaz Mohamed's kidnappers.

The Johannesburg photojournalist was kidnapped in Syria in January 2017. Mohamed had been accompanying the Gift of the Givers to document its campaign at one of its biggest hospitals in northern Syria. He never made it back. 

"We met face to face with one of the kidnappers who said that he was part of the group of nine people that kidnapped him, that he used his car, and now has moved away from his group," Sooliman told IOL.

"We have very sensitive information from him and from our interaction with numerous people in the last 21 months of Shiraaz's captivity.

Sooliman was positive that Mohamed will be released unconditionally, adding that 'waiting patiently' is an important part of securing his release.

Earlier this week, Jumpei Yasuda, who is believed to be a Japanese journalist who was captured three years ago in Syria has been freed, a Japanese government spokesman said. 

Japanese media reported that Yasuda, 44, had been captured by an al-Qaeda affiliate after entering Syria from Turkey in 2015.

While Sooliman said Gift of Givers is "very happy" for Yasuda and his family, they remain optimistic and hopeful that Mohamed will "also taste freedom in due course".

Mohamed's family is being constantly updated on latest developments. 

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