Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarström were in captivity for 46 and 43 days respectively. Photo: AFP/TT
Falkehed and Hammarström

Swedish journalists were beaten and shot at

Swedish journalists Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarström have been released. The tabloid Aftonbladet have spoke to Hammarström who told about a difficult and at times dramatic 46 days.

They were beaten, shot at, and given very little food.

"The worst was the uncertainty. I thought all the time about my family in Sweden. It is an enormous relief to be free," he said to Aftonbladet on the phone from Beirut.

It turns out photographer Hammarström has been free already for three days, but Magnus Falkehed was only released today, Wednesday.

They were reunited in the afternoon, and Aftonbladet and Degens Nyheter published a picture of the two of them hugging and smiling in front of the camera. Falkehed told Dagens Nyheter that "I feel fine, but a bit exhausted".

The two were kept in separate houses, and were treated badly, says Hammarström.

"We have been kept in cellars all the time. It has been pitch dark. We got very little to eat and were only allowed to visit a toilet once per day," he told Aftonbladet.

Already after a few days in captivity, Hammarström and Falkehed tried to escape. They managed to store water and managed to get hold of clothes, but the kidnappers discovered their plans, and Niclas Hammarström was shot in the leg.

"They also beat us with various objects," says Hammarström.

Since he was released, he has been examined by doctors, who  note that he was lucky, as the shots did not damage any vital parts of his leg. Hammarström says he has lost a lot of weight, but that he feels fine except for the wound in his leg.

He does not want to give any details about how they were released, but says that it was "very dramatic".

He insists on thanking everybody who have helped bring about the release: "I want to thank the Foreign Office and the Swedish Police who have done a big job," he says.

Police tight lipped about the details

Henrik Malmquist, Swedish Police. Photo: polisen.se

There were negotiations to free the Swedish journalists, TT reports, but the police are tight lipped about the details.

Media kept quiet about work to free journalists

Newspapers, used to criticising police and the Foreign Office, kept quiet about the efforts to free the two journalists.

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