a year ago
The story of a Swedish student who tried preventing an Afghan man from deportation has caused an uproar in the media. The Typical Student Facebook community asked for a follow-up on the story, so here you go. Just in case you haven’t heard about the deportation incident, see AMAZING Story: Swedish Student Who Prevented Afghan Man from Deportation May Face Imprisonment.
What Happened to Elin Ersson After Her Standing Protest on the Plane?
Elin Ersson, 21, a student activist at Gothenburg University, Sweden, got on the plane to Istanbul after hearing that her fellow passenger was being deported to Afghanistan. She live streamed her emotional standing protest for 14 minutes to prevent the deportation. Her actions were classified as an act of civil disobedience, which may allegedly end up in a 6-month detention.
As of today, a preliminary investigation has begun, where Elin is suspected of violating the aviation regulation. Robin Simonsson, who works under the prosecution service commented to Nyheter24 newspaper: "The investigation will show if any crime has been committed."
According to Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Elin Ersson's act is not considered air-breaking because she bought a ticket, boarded the plane, then refused to take a flight. However, Turkish Airlines company has the right to sue her in a civil-law process.
How Did Swedish Society React to Elin’s Actions?
In Sweden, Elin’s actions got different reactions from her countrymen: some people are screaming for a student’s punishment, while others commend Elin for her bravery. Lars Beckman, a famous Swedish politician, took to Twitter to weigh in on the situation concerning the student’s protest on the plane. One of his tweets on the situation looks quite inhumane: “6 months imprisonment seems to be an appropriate deterrent punishment?”
Looks like Beckman believes Ms Ersson deserves 6 months in prison simply because her actions disregarded the law! Here’s how Beckman explained his point to Nyheter24:
"I refer to how the legislation looks, where it was said that the punishment for such a crime is 6 months in prison. My point with the tweet is that it will be an unreasonable situation if we are going to expel 80,000 people and this kind of event happens. We must respect the authorities' decisions to make it as smooth as possible. It will be a double problem otherwise.”
What Happened to the Afghan Passenger?
So, was the Afghan man deported after all? Many sources telling this shocking story told about a 50-year-old man who was to be deported. However, according to the DW newspaper, there were actually two men set for deportation: one around 50 years of age, and the other one, Ismail Khawari aged 26.
How Are Immigrants In Detention Treated in Sweden?
Allegedly, Khawari's family had contacted Ersson and the activist network she is involved with just before he was due to be deported. After figuring out the young man was to board a Turkish Airlines plane, Ersson bought a ticket and got on the same plane. However, Ismail Khawari, had already been deported from Stockholm to Kabul the following day. So, the only the 50-year-old man was on the plane.
Ismail was seeking asylum officially, however he was declined and slated for deportation. He had to spend 8 months in deportation detention before he finally got deported to Kabul. While in detention, he was “treated like cattle” and suffered from guards’ poor treatment and racism. Ismail Khawari told the DW newspaper he feels lost in Afghanistan, especially now when all his family stays in Sweden.
The Typical Student team will follow the story as it unfolds.
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