Swedish journalist feared missing in area controlled by IS

A Swedish freelance journalist is feared to have gone missing in the border area between Syria and Turkey, reports the tabloid Expressen. The area is controlled by the terrorist group IS.

Expressen reports that the last contact with the journalist was said to have been made four days ago, and that he was booked on a flight home at the beginning of this week. 

"I don't have any such information," said the press officer on duty at the Foreign Ministry to Expressen.

According to Swedish Television News, there was an agreement that if the journalist's relatives had not heard from him after a certain period of time had passed, then the police and the Foreign Ministry would be notified. That time has now passed.

Sweden's National Bureau of Investigation would not comment. Furthermore, a spokesperson there, Jessica Krasser Fremnell, told Expressen that they never talk about whether they are involved or not in kidnapping cases.

The Swedish branch of Reporters without Borders, has no information about the missing journalist, and the organization's chairperson, Jonathan Lundqvist did not want to speculate about who could lie behind a possible abduction.

“Syria is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to work in," Lundqvist told Radio Sweden. "Last year, 15 journalists were killed in the country and IS’ strategy has been to persecute reporters in order to create fear. It has proven effective as it’s a major reason for why there are so few journalists reporting from Syria, which is now a black hole for the media. We don’t know how many Swedish journalists are currently in the country. We know there aren’t many, but we don’t have an exact figure.”

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