This Student Is Being Called A Hero For Preventing A Man’s Deportation To Afghanistan

"The man will most likely be killed in Afghanistan. I have to do what I can."

A student and activist from Sweden apparently stopped the deportation of a man to Afghanistan by refusing to take her seat on a plane and livestreaming the protest on Facebook.

Elin Ersson, who according to her Facebook profile is a student at Gothenburg University, bought a ticket from Gothenburg to Istanbul. Also on board the plane was a 52-year-old Afghan man who was being deported. Ersson said she believed if the man were to be sent to Afghanistan he would be killed.

Facebook: video.php

Ersson explains in the video that the pilot is unable to take off until all passengers have sat down.

Throughout the video, which lasts around 14 minutes, passengers on the plane can be heard telling Ersson to sit down, and at one point someone tries to grab her phone. She is also encouraged to stop by flight attendants.

Just after five minutes into the video, a man speaking with an English-sounding accent confronts Ersson, telling her she is upsetting people, and tries to grab her phone. It is apparently returned to her by a flight attendant, and other passengers can be heard protesting the English-sounding man's actions.

At one point a large number of passengers are shown to also be standing. It's unclear whether this is in solidarity or in frustration.

Just over 10 minutes into the video, a flight attendant tells Ersson both she and the 52-year-old "will not fly."

As it becomes clear the man is leaving the plane, applause can be heard.

After she is sure he and his belongings have left the plane, Ersson also leaves to be met by Swedish authorities. This is when the video stops.

She later posted to Facebook, "The deportation was interrupted. That's all I know. I'm going to turn off phone my phone now."

Since being uploaded on Monday, the video has been viewed more than 2 million times. Most of the responses are overwhelmingly positive.

Very Brave Girl! #elinersson

And Ersson's actions have been praised across the internet.

this woman is a hero, she basically stops a deportation almost single-handedly by just being stubborn and sticking to her guns (“I disagree with the law! I’m trying to change this law!”). So inspiring (and also this video made me bawl) #ElinErsson

#ElinErsson, thank you for your stand, for your courage, compassion and hope. You have sent us all a message to stand up in what we believe in and not shy away from what is right.

Inspiring footage of #Swedish student #ElinErsson stopping the deportation of a 52 year man to #Afghanistan. She refused to sit down until he was taken off the plane. #WelcomeRefugees

However, some have criticized her for stopping what they see as a fair and legal process.

This Swedish woman held up the departure of a plane because someone from Afghanistan was being sent home by the Swedish Government. I'm sure he went through all the proper processes, so she has no right to do this. Do u know about this Paul @PrisonPlanet

#elinersson watched too much pippi longstocking? Don't care about laws and police just do whatever you like... So, don't like to sit on a plane... Like a stupid kid.. damn, put her in jail for obstruction of justice

And following Ersson's video, European media have reported that the man will still be deported, and she could face jail time for her actions.

So a silly little girl caused an uproar and claimed in contradiction with the court that the deported man is on danger in Afghanistan. The man has since been deported despite what silly #ElinErsson did. Stand up for the rule of law

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Ersson and the Swedish prison and probation service for comment.

This post was translated from German.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer