Swedish student's heartfelt and valiant attempt to prevent Afghan man's deportation goes viral
The student, Elin Ersson, who is a student at Gothenburg University, bought a ticket for the flight from Gothenburg to Turkey after she got to know about the deportation.
A student activist, who was on board a plane heading to Turkey at Gothenburg airport, stopped an Afghan asylum seeker's deportation from Sweden by refusing to sit down on her seat until the man was reboarded.
According to Swedish press reports, the student, identified as Elin Ersson, a student at Gothenburg University, bought a ticket for the flight from Gothenburg to Turkey after she got to know that the Afghan man was sue to be deported on the plane.
Errson started her protest the moment she entered the plane and live-streamed the entire incident on her Facebook page in English. Reports state that the video received over half a million hits as of Tuesday.
The footage of the incident shows an emotional Errson struggling to maintain her composure as multiple hostile passengers slam her actions and tell her that she is affecting the rest of the passengers. However, there were many in the flight who applauded her efforts.
Ersson said: "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."
In the clip, Errson can be seen repeatedly being challenged by a steward, who asks her to stop filming. The student, however, continues with the live-streaming, saying: "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."
At one point, an angry passenger attempts to stop Errson by trying to snatch her phone. She then 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."
Errson's efforts ultimately came to fruition after airport authorities refused to use force on the student to remove her from the aircraft, and deboarded the asylum seeker from the plane. Most of the passengers, in the end, broke into an applause, appreciating the woman's vigor.
According to the Guardian, Swedavia - firm which runs Landvetter airport in Gothenburg - later confirmed the incident and said that an Afghan asylum seeker, along with three security personnel, and Ersson left the plane before take off.
Similar incidents have become common in Sweden and throw light on the country's stringent asylum regime and the domestic opposition against the government's tough laws.
Latest reports state that the number of asylum requests applications to Sweden have fallen sharply considering the nation has made it much harder for refugees to get in.