VIDEO: Swedish student stops deportation of refugee by refusing to sit down on plane
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A Swedish student activist stopped an Afghan man’s deportation by refusing to sit down on a plane.
A Swedish student activist prevented a plane from taking off to stop an Afghan man from being deported.
Elin Ersson, 22, boarded a flight in Gothenburg destined for Istanbul, in the hope to stop a young Afghan from being deported.
Instead Ms Ersson discovered another Afghan man in his 50s was on board for deportation.
Repeatedly told by a flight attendant to take her seat, Ms Ersson says: “I am doing what I can to save a person’s life. As long as a person is standing up the pilot cannot take off. All I want to do is stop the deportation and then I will comply with the rules here. This is all perfectly legal and I have not committed a crime.”
When a fellow passenger attempts to snatch her phone, she tells him: “What is more important, a life, or your time? … I want him to get off the plane because he is not safe in Afghanistan. I am trying to change my country’s rules, I don’t like them. It is not right to send people to hell.”
UN figures show that in the first quarter of the year there were 2,258 civilian casualties in Afghanistan, however, the Swedish Migration Board still consider it a safe country.
Airport staff declined to forcibly remove Ms Ersson from the plane and eventually the Afghan man, accompanied by three security staff, left the plane to applause.
Swedish authorities have since said the Afghan man will still be deported, although a date has not been set.
Ms Ersson said it was her “firm belief that no–one should be deported to a land in war”.