75 Norwegians on Syrian blacklist
In the period 1980-2014, the Syrian intelligence service has put 75 Norwegians on a blacklist, according to NRK.
NRK has gained access to the list by the opposition newspaper Zaman al-Wasl and writes that it contains everything from students and tourists to a flight attendant, a football referee and a street vendor.
According to the documents, seven of the people will be arrested if they come to Syria, 45 will be denied entry and regarding 23 of them the authorities will be notified.
One of the names that appear is insect biologist Lars Ove Hansen, who was arrested when he caught wasps in a military area in 2010.
– They were convinced we were agents or something similar. And it was not easy to explain what we really were doing there, he says.
Vegard Valther Hansen at NUPI says the threshold for being blacklisted in a country like Syria is very low.
– Sometimes it’s enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some are also registered by conducting activity that is perceived as suspicious without that being the case. It is however unfortunately a fact that once you are part of such an archive it is difficult to be removed from it, Hansen says.
The Syrian embassy in Stockholm has not responded to NRK inquiries about the matter.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today