Swedish Student Activist Who Stood on Plane to Stop Deportation Gets Indicted

Alex Hall | October 22, 2018
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According to Fox News, Last July, Elin Ersson, a 21-year-old student from Sweden famously live-streamed her attempt to prevent the deportation of an asylum seeker to his homeland of Afghanistan by standing up on a plane that was prepared to take flight. She equated the deportation of this man -- who was convicted in Sweden for assault -- with application of the death penalty, later writing in an email to The New York Times that, “As someone who is against the death penalty, it is only right to stand up for those who are faced with being deported to a land in war.”

She now faces indictment by the district court of Gothenburg, Sweden, stating that Ersson “violated the Swedish aviation act by remaining standing when the plane was set to take off,” according to the coverage by The Times.

If convicted, she may face up to six months in prison. 

While prosecutor James von Reis told Swedish news outlet Svenska Dagbladet that Ersson did this act "...with the intention of preventing the plane from departing," Ersson's defense lawyer Tomas Fridh claims in an email to The Times that his client did not violate the law, claiming she "was prepared to follow the orders of the captain on board, and she left the plane as soon as the pilot decided that she should do so."

Fox News reports, "Swedish police confirmed to Fox News in July that the man whose deportation Ersson prevented had received a prison sentence in Sweden for assault. The man was subsequently deported despite Ersson's efforts."

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