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Immigration activist refuses to take her seat on a plane to protest deportation of asylum seeker

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A Swedish immigration activist refused to take her seat on a flight after learning than a man being deported to Afghanistan was on board.

Elin Ersson, a student at the University of Gothenburg, livestreamed her antics during a flight from Gothenburg to Turkey on Monday, Deutsche Well reported.

“I am doing what I can to save a person’s life. As long as a person is standing up the pilot cannot take off,” Ersson said. “All I want to do is stop the deportation and then I will comply with the rules here. This is all perfectly legal and I have not committed a crime.”

The German network noted that according to the Swedish Aviation Act, passengers who refuse to obey a pilot’s orders while on board a plane can face fines or up to six months in jail.

The livestream video had more than 2.8 millions views on Facebook as of this writing, with Ersson’s “stand” coming in response to an Afghan man on the flight being sent to Kabul.

But her theatrics were no accident.

It’s not clear how this information was obtained, but Ersson participated in a protest of Sweden deportation policies with a group of 25 other activists before boarding the plane, according to Deutsche Well.

Ersson said the man, identified as an asylum seeker, would most likely be killed if returned to Afghanistan.

Passengers weren’t thrilled with her actions, with some letting her know, although a man Errson said was Turkish man told her she was “doing the right thing.”

“It felt good, when the Turkish guy started talking to me and making sure that I knew I wasn’t alone,” she said. “It felt really good. He was saying what I was doing was right.”

Tom Tillison

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