Swedish student protests in plane, prevents Afghan asylum-seeker’s deportation

Published 25.07.2018 17:42
Updated 25.07.2018 18:02

A Swedish student delayed the deportation of an Afghan asylum-seeker on board a plane by refusing to sit down until the man was removed from the plane.

According to Swedish reports, Elin Ersson bought a ticket for the Turkish Airlines flight from Gothenburg to Istanbul after she found out about the Afghan refugee's pending deportation.

The young activist began live-streaming video on Facebook as she entered the plane and proceeded to film herself speaking in English as she explained what was going on to the passengers.

The footage shows Errson receiving both praise and criticism from the passengers as she repeated her demand to have the Afghan man removed from the plane.

When asked by a steward to stop recording and sit down, Ersson said: "I am doing what I can to save a person's life," and explained that as long as she is standing up, the plane cannot take off.

After being confronted by an angry passenger who tried to seize her phone, she said, "What is more important, a life or your time?" and added: "It is not right to send people to hell."

Despite facing some hostility, Ersson received support from the majority of the passengers. One Turkish passenger can be heard saying: "We agree with her, there is no sense in sending this man to his death. Either this man gets off or we all get off."

After a tense 10-minute protest, passengers broke into applause as the 52-year-old Afghan man was taken off the plane. Ersson got off the plane soon after she confirmed that the Afghan man was no longer onboard.

Swedavia, the company that runs Landvetter airport in Gothenburg, confirmed that the Afghan refugee had left the plane, followed by Ersson.

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