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Society

RTR3WSFS
Seeking Refuge In Sweden - 02 July 2014
Reuters photographer Cathal McNaughton spent time at an asylum center on the outskirts of Stockholm, where he took portraits of people he met and asked them where they had fled, why they left, and how they had reached Sweden. He photographed the migrants hiding their faces, partly to protect their identity because of safety concerns, and partly to focus the viewer's attention on their stories, rather than their looks. Some 15 percent of Sweden's population is foreign born, the highest level in the Nordic region. Asylum seekers in particular are drawn by Sweden's robust economy and tradition of helping refugees. The country ranks fourth in the number of asylum seekers and second relative to its population out of 44 industrialised nations, according to U.N. figures.
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July 02, 2014
Davlat, 19, from Tajikistan covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph in a church...
Stockholm, Sweden
Davlat from Tajikistan covers his face to hide his identity in a church yard in central Stockholm
Davlat, 19, from Tajikistan covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph in a church yard in central Stockholm June 8, 2014. Davlat was smuggled from his home via Russia four years ago where he was put on a boat to Sweden. His family feared he would be taken as a slave by a local money lender who threatened to kidnap him because his parents could not repay a debt. His parents have not been seen since and he fears they have been murdered. He lived in a small refugee camp outside Stockholm and currently works illegally in the hotel and construction industries to make money. When asked if he would like to return home he said "There is nothing left for me there, my family are dead. I haven't got a home anymore." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Monther B, 47, a lawyer from Syria, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph...
Stockholm, Sweden
Monther B, a lawyer from Syria, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at...
Monther B, 47, a lawyer from Syria, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 6, 2014. Monther paid smugglers 6452 euros to get him to Sweden via Egypt, Turkey and Greece, and then by plane with false identity papers. He left Syria after he witnessed a friend being murdered by opposition forces. He has left his wife and two children at home. When asked about his future he said, "There is no future at home. I want to get my family here and secure my children's education. They are in a very dangerous situation." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Oamayma A, 42, a French language teacher from Syria, covers her face to hide her identity as she poses...
Stockholm, Sweden
Oamayma, a French language teacher from Syria, covers her face to hide her identity as she poses for...
Oamayma A, 42, a French language teacher from Syria, covers her face to hide her identity as she poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 8, 2014. It took Oamayma nine months to reach Sweden via Turkey then Greece. She was cheated of 7000 euros but eventually obtained a false French passport for 2000 euros which she used to fly to Sweden. When asked about her future she said, "There is no safety at home. My main priority is to get my daughter here as I fear she will be raped." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Collins, 23, from Nigeria covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum...
Stockholm, Sweden
Collins from Nigeria covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp...
Collins, 23, from Nigeria covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 10, 2014. Collins was smuggled out of Nigeria by a local priest after he was tortured by police for being homosexual. When asked what his hopes for the future were Collins said, "I don't want to be gay. I am an orphan and have nobody so I need to get a wife and have children so I can have a family." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Syrian migrant Assaf, 44, who was head of security for a government minister, covers his face to hide...
Stockholm, Sweden
Syrian migrant Assaf, who was head of security for a government minister, covers his face to hide his...
Syrian migrant Assaf, 44, who was head of security for a government minister, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 8, 2014. Assaf paid smugglers 8000 euros to get to Sweden. He travelled through the mountains to Turkey and then from Turkey to Greece by boat with dozens of others. He then travelled to Stockholm in a truck. When asked about his future he said, "What future? I am in a foreign country with my family living in danger thousands of miles away. There is no future until they are here." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Ahmed M, 47, an assistant engineer from Syria, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a...
Stockholm, Sweden
Ahmed, an assistant engineer from Syria, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph...
Ahmed M, 47, an assistant engineer from Syria, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 8, 2014. Ahmed paid smugglers 8500 euros to get him to Sweden via Jordan, Turkey and Greece. He flew from Greece to Stockholm with false identification documents. Ahmed fled Syria because he had been arrested three times by military intelligence on suspicion of being a spy. He was tortured and had his feet broken. When asked about the future he said, "I have five children at home. They have no future there and without them I have no future here." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Lutfullah, 27, from Afghanistan, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at...
Stockholm, Sweden
Lutfullah from Afghanistan, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum...
Lutfullah, 27, from Afghanistan, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 10, 2014. Lutfullah paid 8872 euros to smugglers to get him to Sweden. He came via Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy. He spent six days strapped under a truck on the last leg of the journey to Sweden. Lutfullah is a journalist but had to escape Afghanistan after the Taliban came looking for him because they did not like what he wrote. He has been in Sweden for three months. Lutfullah is suffering from depression and rarely leaves his accommodation. When asked if he would like to return home he replied, "If I return I will be killed but living here at the minute I just exist." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Mebrahtu, a 37-year-old soldier from Eritrea, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a...
Stockholm, Sweden
Mebrahtu, a 37-year-old soldier from Eritrea, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a...
Mebrahtu, a 37-year-old soldier from Eritrea, covers his face to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 8, 2014. Mebrahtu travelled at night through the mountains to get to Ethiopia where he obtained false identity papers and flew to Sweden. He wanted to leave the military but was told he would be killed if he tried. When asked about his future he said, "I would like an education. When the plane landed I cried." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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July 02, 2014
Ghassan M K, 39, from Damascus, shows his back to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an...
Stockholm, Sweden
Ghassan M K, 39, from Damascus, shows his back to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an...
Ghassan M K, 39, from Damascus, shows his back to hide his identity as he poses for a photograph at an asylum camp outside Stockholm June 8, 2014. Ghassan paid smugglers 7023 euros to get him to Sweden via Lebanon using false identification documents. When asked about his future he said, "I've seen enough. The enforcement of law is gone in Syria. My main purpose coming here is to get my wife and children here. Even if I was to become prime minister, without my family I am nothing." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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