Elin Ersson onboard a plane where she prevented the deportation of an Afghan on Monday, July 23. Credit: Elin Ersson
Elin Ersson onboard a plane where she prevented the deportation of an Afghan on Monday, July 23. Credit: Elin Ersson

Elin Ersson prevented a plane from taking off that had an Afghan man aboard who was supposed to be deported back to his country. A Swedish court ruled that she will not have to spend time in jail, but ordered her to pay a fine.

Elin Ersson, the Swedish activist who live-streamed her protest on a plane that was taking an Afghan man back to his home country was fined 3,000 Swedish kronor ($324, €286) in court on Monday.

Ersson protested the deportation on a Turkish airlines plane at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, which was bound for Istanbul on July 23, 2018. She refused to take her seat for take-off unless the man would not be deported. The livestream of her protest went viral. 

The protest, which included a stand-off with a Turkish Airlines flight attendant and several other passengers, ended after Ersson and a man disembarked the plane. The flight eventually took off after a two-hour delay.

Avoiding jail

The prosecutor in the case wanted a two-week prison sentence for Ersson. The court ruled that the Ersson would not have to go to jail, but ordered her to pay a fine. The judges argued that Erisson did not comply with the captain's orders to take her seat and was thus guilty of breaking air safety regulations. 

Ersson's attorney said they would appeal the fine. He said Ersson was acting on moral grounds, saying Afghanistan was not safe for returnees.

The airline did not request compensation, according to court documents.

Ersson was trying to prevent two deportations to Afghanistan. One of the men was about 50 years old, and the othe was a 26-year-old. The younger man was not on the flight. However, the older man left the plane with Ersson. Both men were eventually expelled from Sweden, according to AFP.

Ersson is a member of an activist group in the Swedish city of Gothenburg which has staged protests against deportations to Afghanistan.

 

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