STATEMENT ON THE KIDNAPPING OF SOUTH AFRICAN PHOTOJOURNALIST SHIRAAZ MOHAMED IN SYRIA

South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) condemns the abduction of photojournalist, Shiraaz Mohamed, on 10th January in Syria. According to reports, Mohamed was kidnapped in northern Syria by unidentified armed men as he tried to leave the country in the company of members of the charity Gift of the Givers. 
We are concerned over the safety and security of Mohamed and urge the perpetrators of this heinous act to recognize the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols which constitute the humanitarian laws that protect journalists in conflict situations. We wish to reiterate that journalism is not a crime and journalists covering armed-conflict situations are not combatants. Since truth is the first casualty of war, it remains to reason that accurate, fair and balanced reports on war are critical in informing society and the world at large.
“We have conveyed our concern to the Mohamed family and we hope that their nightmare will end soon with the safe release of Shiraaz,” said SANEF’s Chairperson, Mahlatse Gallens.
For Inquiries:
Sanef Secretary General Reggy Moalusi 071 682 3695
Sanef Media Freedom Sub Committee Chairperson Sam Mkokeli 082 084 2051