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Sweden states woman who has tried to block the deportation of Afghan man on flight



STOCKHOLM – Swedish prosecutors have charged a woman who defended herself in July against the deportation of a rejected asylum seeker to Afghanistan by refusing to sit on the flight.

Ms. Elin Ersson was a volunteer with an organization fighting the forced repatriation of Afghan asylum seekers whose applications were denied. Ms. Ersson, 21, filmed on July 23 in a dispute with the cabin crew of a Turkish Airlines flight at Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg

The charge, which was issued on Friday in a district court in Gothenburg, told Ms. Ersson against the Swedish aviation law violated by stopping when the plane took off. Crimes against the crime are punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to six months.

"She did this with the intention of preventing the plane from flying off," said a prosecutor, James von Reis, of the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet Freitag

Finally, the captain ordered Ms. Ersson and a 50-year-old Afghan man which she had tried to protect from the plane and it was able to take off. The man was finally deported

Ms. Erson's lawyer, Thomas Fridh, said that her actions on the plane did not violate any law. "Throughout the action, she was ready to follow the captain's instructions aboard, and she left the plane as soon as the pilot decided she should," Mr. Fridh said in an e-mail on Saturday.

He said that the Swedish Aviation Law only pertains to air strikes and not to the ground

In an e-mail statement on Saturday, Ms. Ersson said she would continue to fight against the forced repatriation of refugees to Afghanistan.

"To send someone there, you send someone to their deaths," she wrote. "As someone who opposes the death penalty, it is only right to stand up for those who are deported to a country during the war."

The Gothenburg police said a preliminary investigation was initiated after people filed complaints when they saw the video

Mr. The public prosecutor of Reis said that their actions had caused "a lot of confusion, irritation and worry on the plane, and some of the passengers were quite upset about it," according to the Swedish newspaper JP.

But also their deeds were praised.

Anne Ramberg, Director-General of the Swedish Bar Association, wrote on her blog in July, Mrs. Ersson "showed courage and stood up for something that she and many others regard as an urgent problem in Sweden."

The man was an Afghan asylum seeker behind Turkish Airlines' flight and accompanied by officers to transport him back to Kabul, Afghanistan.

In a 15-minute act of defiance, live on her mobile phone, Ms. Ersson refused to sit, delaying the departure, though impatient passengers and crew members yelled at her

She calmly replied, "I do what I can do to save a person's life. "

The man was finally taken off the plane.

The Nordic countries have experienced a decreased tolerance for migrants for Afghans to receive asylum safely. Sweden has accepted a historically low number of asylum applications for Afghan adults and minors this year, according to migration authorities.


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