Afghan man whose deportation was stopped by activist 'will still be deported'

Afghan man whose deportation was stopped by activist 'will still be deported'

Elin Ersson aboard the plane. Image: Elin Ersson/Facebook

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

An Afghan man whose deportation from Sweden was prevented by a lone student activist will still be deported at a later date, authorities have said.

Elin Ersson, who is listed as a student at Gothenburg University on her Facebook page, refused to sit down on a plane until an Afghan asylum seeker, who was in the process of being deported, was taken off the flight.

She live-streamed the entire incident on Facebook.

'We will still deport him'

A spokesman for the Swedish police, who oversee deportations, told talkRADIO: “Normally we don’t talk about deportations at all but this situation has meant we have.

“The deportation would be made at another date. We will still deport him but it will be delayed. We cannot give a date.”

Some reports have suggested that Ms Ersson could face legal action for her protest.

“It’s possible but that would be the decision of the Swedish prosecution service,” said the police spokesman.

They were unable to give any more details on the circumstances around the man's deportation.

In the video, Ms Ersson boards the plane and explains there is a “52-year-old man” on board to be deported.

“I’m right now at an airport, and there’s a person getting deported to Afghanistan. The people here working are trying to take my phone away from me,” she said in the live stream.

Passengers can be heard in the background saying, “we want to go” and encouraging her to sit down.

“He’s going to get deported to Afghanistation where there’s a war and he’s going to get killed,” she continued.

'It felt good'

After her lone protest, which lasted almost 15 minutes, the man is taken off the plane, and Ms Ersson herself disembarks.

She told The Guardian that “it felt good” knowing the man was removed from the plane, and explained her stance against deportations to Afghanistan.

“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,” she said.

“The way that we are treating refugees right now, I think that we can do better, especially in a rich country like Sweden.”

Last year, the Swedish Migration Agency made decisions on 25,562 asylum applications from Afghan citizens, according to their own data. 15,303 applications were rejected.