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Swedish TV team freed by Russian military

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Members of a pro-Russian force on Saturday. Photo: TT
14:54 CET+01:00
A team from Sweden's TV4 news channel was released on Monday afternoon after they were arrested by the Russian military in Crimea.
The reporters - one camera operator and one journalist - were released around 4pm on Monday afternoon.
 
"Soldiers brandishing whips came and arrested us. They were very threatening," reporter Johan Fredriksson told TV4 earlier in the day. 
 
"They took our passports, our press accreditation, and our gear, and now we're waiting for someone to come and interrogate us."

Johan Fredriksson and cameraman Jacek Machula were arrested ten kilometres outside of Sevastopol, the city that hosts Russia's military base.
 
Authorities claimed the journalists were filming military installations, which the Swedish team denies.
 
Fredriksson told the Aftonbladet newspaper that nine people in military uniforms were on hand to make the arrest, some of whom had knives. 
 
"They ripped the camera out of Jacek's hands," he said.
 
Journalists from several countries have reported being harassed and having their equipment stolen by Russian forces on the peninsula. 
 

Story continues below…

Three Norwegian journalists had their laptops and storage devices confiscated at an improvised checkpoint in northern Crimea last week. 
 
Crimeans voted on Sunday in favour of seceding from Ukraine in a referendum deemed illegal by the international community. 
 
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