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Syrian Refugee Trapped In Moscow Airport Granted Asylum In Sweden

After nine months of being stuck in the transit zone of Moscow Sheremetyevo airport, Hasan Yasien is free.

Throughout the past year I’ve been covering the story of Hasan Yasein, a Syrian refugee who was entrapped in the transit zone of Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.

I first met Hasan while connecting flights at Shermetyevo after departing from Kazakhstan, and we kept in touch ever since. I would write a little about his situation — stuck in the airport next to the duty free shops — and eventually a little momentum grew. People would find out about him and bring him essentials or just go to meet him during layovers. He became a defacto attraction of sorts, and images of his little hermitage across from the Burger King began making their way onto social media.

After a nine month internment, I am pleased to announce that Hasan was released and is now in Kalmar, in the south of Sweden. The UN High Commission of Refugees finally took decisive action and sprung him loose. He is now studying Swedish and will soon get a job.

But the Russian authorities still didn’t give him back his bag, which had been a major side plot to this story. I’ve now found out why: there was $3,000 in it.

However, this story ultimately had a happy ending.

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Filed under: Airports, Refugees, Russia

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 83 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3211 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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