Swedish student faces probe after Afghan deportation protest

Published 27.07.2018 17:51
Updated 27.07.2018 17:55

Swedish prosecutors said Friday that they have opened an investigation after a young woman earlier this week boarded a plane to prevent the deportation of a man to Afghanistan.

Elin Ersson, a student at the University of Gothenburg, grabbed headlines after she bought a ticket and boarded a plane bound for Istanbul on Monday.

She said it was necessary to prevent a 52-year-old man from being sent back to Afghanistan, saying the country was not safe for returnees.

She refused to sit down and filmed her protest in a live video streamed over Facebook. The clip went viral. Ersson was heard saying in the video that some passengers had also stood up in support.

The standoff involving Ersson, a flight attendant and some other passengers was resolved when the Afghan man and Ersson disembarked from the plane at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport.

The border police have not commented on the man's whereabouts, and Ersson has said that she had no information about his fate.

The crime being investigated constituted a violation of air traffic regulations, as passengers have to obey a pilot's orders while on board.

"If there is a conviction, it can result in fines or up to six months in jail," spokesman Robin Simonsson of the Swedish Prosecution Authority told dpa. He had no further details.

Ersson, 21, is a member of an activist group in the western city of Gothenburg that has staged regular protests against deportations to Afghanistan."This Monday, I could do something, and I did," she said at a meeting on Thursday.

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