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Swedish student stops flight to prevent Afghan man being deported

25 Jul 2018 Daily Mail Online

A Swedish student staging a protest at the deportation of an Afghan man prevented the flight they were both aboard from taking off. Elin Ersson, 22, a student activist from Gothenburg University in Sweden, purchased a ticket from Gothenburg to Istanbul, where her fellow passenger was due to change flights and to fly to Kabul, in order to carry out the civil disobedience.The student took out her phone and streamed an emotional 14-minute video, in which she walks about the plane explaining the man 'will most likely get killed' if he's deported.

In an act of civil disobedience, the student took out her phone and streamed a 14-minute video where she walked about the plane explaining the man 'will most likely get killed' if he's deportedKnowing the flight would not be able to take off while she was standing, the activist refuses to take her seat until the Afghan man is let of the plane.Cabin crew and other passengers ask her to sit down at start of the clip, which she insists she will do as soon as the man is let go.   At one point, a disgruntled fellow passenger tries to seize her phone, but she asks him: 'What is more important, a life, or your time?'  '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.' 





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Eventually the man is let off the plane and his deportation is prevented. Swedavia, which runs Landvetter airport where the protest took place, confirmed that an Afghan asylum seeker, three security personnel and Elin Ersson all left the plane.However, Swedish authorities have since said the Afghan man will still be deported, although a date has not been set. They also claim the activist could face up to six months in prison for refusing to obey police orders.

Elin Ersson, 22, a student at Gotheburg University, kept the Turkish airlines flight from Gotenborg in Sweden to Istanbul grounded until the 52-year-old Afghan man, who was due to be deported, was escorted off the plane

Swedish authorities claim the activist could face up to six months in prison for refusing to obey police ordersHowever, by the end of the clip some other passengers have joined her protest and many applaud when the man is led off the plane. Some Twitter users have even branded her a 'hero'.One person said: 'Thank you for your stand, for your courage, compassion and hope'.Another added: 'This is what a superhero looks like'.

The response on Twitter has been mostly positive, and the video which Ersson livestreamed on Facebook has racked up 2 million viewsErrson's protest highlights the domestic opposition to the Swedish government's tough line on asylum. With the far-right Sweden Democrats, who are opposed to immigration and asylum, currently doing well in the polls, the government has felt it has be tough on those issues before September's elections.In January, Kabul was hit by a Taliban terrorist attack which killed more than 100 people and wounded at least 235. At the time, Sweden put a temporary brake on deportations to Afghanistan but these have since resumed and the government considers the country safe for failed asylum seekers. Sweden has now toughened its refugee acceptance conditions and asylum applications have correspondingly dropped. Errson is one of many Swedes who feel that their government's approach has been too harsh. 'I am trying to change my country's rules, I don't like them,' she says.'It is not right to send people to hell.' 

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