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Video: Imtiaz Sooliman Explains Hostage Negotiations and the Case of Stephen McGown

Imtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the GiversImtiaz Sooliman, founder and manager of Gift of the Givers, was recently interviewed on eNCA about negotiations for the release of Stephen McGown, a South African who is being held captive by al-Qaeda in Mali.

Last year, Sooliman conducted a similar negotiation for Pierre Korkie. In the interview he describes how his organisation engages in hostage negotiations, and how they are faring in this particular case.

Watch the video:



Read an article about McGown’s case:

McGown was taken hostage in Mali in November 2011, along with Swedish national Johan Gustafsson and Hollander Sjaak Rijke, a Dutch citizen. The trio were snatched from a restaurant in Timbuktu, Mali, along with a German friend, who was killed immediately by the militants.

Stephen had worked for Investec in the UK, and was on his “final adventure” biking through Africa, before returning to South Africa. His father describes him as an “adventuresome” young man, who had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

“He was in the prime of his life. He would have come home to start a family. His wife is in a difficult position. Her friends are all married with children. And she is stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

In the first year, there were astronomical demands for ransom. But no longer. The hostage-takers had previously threatened to kill Stephen if militant “hate preacher” Abu Qatada was not released from prison.

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