Swedish film crew arrested in Azerbaijan

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Swedish film crew arrested in Azerbaijan

A Swedish film team was arrested in Azerbaijan at the weekend while working on a documentary about freedom of speech.


The three Swedes were arrested shortly before a demonstration was scheduled to take place in the capital city Baku.

"Suddenly police arrived on the scene and started taking people away," photographer Zsolt Czinkoczky told the Expressen newspaper.

"They took my colleagues and when I asked why the police said it was because they didn't have a permit to film."

According to Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle, the arrest may have been due to problems with the Swedes' visas.

"They haven't been presented with any criminal suspicions, but the police have erased their memory card," Mikael Eklund from Pampas Produktion AB, the film company behind the production, told the TT news agency.

As of late Sunday night, the three Swedes were still being held by Azerbaijani authorities, according to Mikael Ekman from Pampas.

The exact reason for the arrests remains unclear.

"There have been a few different explanations, everything from their visas not being correctly formulated to filming permits," Ekman told TT.

He said the Swedes have been treated well and haven't been subjected to any threats or physical violence.

According to the latest information, the Swedes will likely be deported, but it remains unclear when.


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