Swedish journalists abducted in Syria may have lacked proper visas

The Local | Associated Press


Swedish journalists Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarström "are experienced journalists and they know that they cannot move about in a regime-controlled area without a visa," Kassem Hamadé, a reporter for the Swedish newspaper Expressen, tells The Local. Falkehed and Hammarström were abducted Saturday as they tried to leave Syria.

The pair may have lacked the right papers, Hamadé said. Michael Calderone reported in August that Syria is stingy in granting visas to journalists: "News organizations can seek a Syrian government visa, but requests are often turned down and, even if issued, are only temporary."

At least 18 journalists are missing in Syria, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported in October. American journalists James Foley and Austin Tice have been missing for more than a year each.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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