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Deportation drama: Student stand-off on Swedish airliner scuppers Afghan expulsion (VIDEO)

Deportation drama: Student stand-off on Swedish airliner scuppers Afghan expulsion (VIDEO)
A lone student activist halted the deportation of a man from Sweden to Afghanistan, at least temporarily, after she staged a dramatic protest on board an airliner by refusing to take her seat.

Elin Ersson, reportedly bought a ticket for a flight from Gothenburg to Turkey after learning that a 52-year-old man would then be transferred to another plane and deported to Afghanistan. The Swede live-streamed the incident on her Facebook page.  

In tense and emotional scenes Ersson explains the reason behind her protest and is confronted by flight attendants and fellow passengers urging her to sit down.

"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."

“I’m not going to sit down until this person is off the plane,” the young woman declares adding that it’s likely that the man will be killed if he is forced back to Afghanistan.

Despite opposition from some passengers and attempts to take her phone, Ersson continues her protest. She asks one frustrated passenger, “What is more important, a life, or your time?” She then reiterates that she is trying to save a man’s life.

Some passengers, including a football team, join Ersson in standing but she admits she is not sure if they are all doing so in solidarity with her.

Finally, the flight attendant informs her the man will be taken off the plane if she also leaves. As the pair exit the aircraft passengers can be heard applauding.

The emotive video has garnered more than 2 million views and put the spotlight on Ersson, who said in a later tweet that the “deportation was interrupted” but she was not aware of any other details.

According to DW.com the Afghan man remains in custody and still faces deportation, while Ersson could be issued a fine or given up to six months in jail for disobeying a pilot’s orders.

The protest comes after another Afghan deportee was released from a flight from Gothenburg this month after he protested loudly on board.

Sweden rolled back its open door migration policy at the end of 2015 and has further intensified its crackdown on illegal immigrants in recent months as the country heads towards an election in September. The government will face opposition from Alternative for Sweden – a new anti-migrant party, determined to send as many immigrants as possible back to their respective home countries.

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