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Reporter 'smuggles' Syrian teen to Sweden

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Reporter 'smuggles' Syrian teen to Sweden
Inside an office of Sweden's Migration Board. Photo: TT
11:23 CET+01:00
A Swedish reporter has helped a Syrian child escape to Sweden, where people smugglers can face up to two years in prison.
The reporter, who was working on a programme for Sveriges Television (SVT), helped the 15-year-old travel from Greece to Sweden. 
 
"It was only me who could help him," the reporter, Fredrik Önnevall, explained on SVT.
 
Önnevall, the teen, and the film crew all travelled back to Sweden via train so that the Syrian could reunite with members of his family who were already living in Sweden.
 
The child has since been granted permanent residence in Sweden and has started school.
 
"A boy just asked us to save him from the situation he was  in. He was trying to smuggle himself out of Greece by jumping onto a moving truck," the reporter explained. 
 
The SVT reporter said he was "extremely influenced by the classic journalist role of watching and observing", and said that he wasn't trying to change this practice by his actions. 
 
While the programme's director, Robert Olsson, said the move was brave, he noted that the production team was well aware of the potential consequences of their actions.
 
"It's definitely not a certainty that Fredrik and the team have done something illegal. But I'm not a lawyer," he said.
 
"But I think this series goes beyond the legal issue. It's a public service broadcast that stands alone and shines a light on some  of the most important contemporary issues in a much larger context," he explained.
 
Sweden's approach towards Syrian refugees has been widely debated recently.
 
Last year Sweden took in its highest number of asylum seekers since 1992, when refugees flocked to the Nordic nation during war in the Balkans.
 
In 2014, refugees came mostly from Syria, with a total of 30,600 fleeing to Sweden - 14,300 more than in 2013.
 
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