Sweden - Lone Aircraft Protest Stops Deportation


A lone student activist, Elin Ersson, on board a plane at Gothenburg airport has prevented the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker from Sweden by refusing to sit down until the man was removed from the flight.
I hope that people start questioning how their country treats refugees. We need to start seeing the people whose lives our immigration [policies] are destroying.
Elin is a social work student at Gothenburg University. She bought her ticket for the flight on Monday morning, after she and other asylum activists found out that a young Afghan was due to be deported on it. In fact he was not on the plane but activists discovered another Afghan man in his 50s was onboard for deportation.

As she entered the plane, Ersson started to livestream her protest in English. The video received more than 4m hits on Tuesday.

Elin told passengers ...
I don’t want a man’s life to be taken away just because you don’t want to miss your flight. I am not going to sit down until the person is off the plane.
Airport authorities declined to use force to eject Ersson, passengers broke into applause when the asylum seeker was taken off the plane.

Ersson spoke about her volunteering work with refugee groups ...
People in Afghanistan are not sure of any safety. They don’t know if they’re going to live another day. As I’ve been working and meeting people from Afghanistan and heard their stories, I’ve been more and more in the belief that no one should be deported to Afghanistan because it’s not a safe place. The way that we are treating refugees right now, I think that we can do better, especially in a rich country like Sweden.
The fates of the young man due to be deported on Monday, and the man who was on the plane, are unknown. A spokesperson for the Swedish Prison and Probation Service confirmed that the young man would be deported again, once transport was found.