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Swedish Student Stands Up on Plane and Blocks Deportation

Swedish Student Stands Up on Plane and Blocks Deportation
Sharon Hsu

Swedish student and activist Elin Errson made headlines earlier this week when she refused to take her seat on a Turkish Airlines flight from Gothenburg in order to halt the deportation of an Afghan man. The Facebook live video she recorded of her stand-off has been viewed nearly 4 million times since Monday, with many calling her a hero for her actions.

On Monday, July 23, 2018, Elin Errson boarded a Turkish Airlines flight with the purpose of stopping a deportation. The 21-year-old student is part of an activist group that had previously learned Swedish officials were planning to deport a 26-year-old Afghan man to Kabul that day. Errson promptly bought a ticket for the same flight. Once she arrived, she found out that this particular man was not on board, but that an older Afghan deportee was.

Errson remained in the aisle, citing the rule that aircrafts cannot take off until all passengers are seated, and asked that the man be allowed off the plane.

In the Facebook live video she recorded and shared, which can be viewed on Digg, she is heard explaining her reasoning to her fellow passengers: “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. 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.”

Though she grew emotional as some passengers scolded her for holding up the flight, Errson stood her ground. Later in the video, she notes support from other passengers, including some who joined her in standing up and delaying the flight.

Officials eventually removed the Afghan man from the plane, at which point Errson de-planed as well. Officials have not stated whether or not the man was later deported on a different flight.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (10)


  1. KLBGO

    July 26, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Politically correct

  2. Irpworks

    July 26, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Arrest her and then fly on.

  3. Diplomatico

    July 27, 2018 at 1:51 am

    So why wasn’t the “activist” removed from the flight for refusing to comply with cabin crew instructions?

  4. Knodde

    July 27, 2018 at 5:22 am

    She kind of missed that he was being deported in accordance with Swedish law…and also that he had a 2 year jail sentence for assault and battering…

  5. TMOliver

    July 27, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Well, ’tis fortunate she performed her stage show in Sweden, not Istanbul or Ankara. A half century ago and certainly now, Turkish “authorities” (unformed or in ‘civvies, not to be messed with!) would have removed her from the plane, forcefully, if not in pieces.

  6. kb9522

    July 27, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Dao has ruined airlines’ ability to enforce their rules. What a shame.

  7. weero


    July 27, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    So how long will she join a ban from the airport and major airlines?

    Thanks to these ‘activists’/outlaws, Europe will soon see US style police enforcement.

  8. sfoeuroflyer

    July 28, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I hope she is arrested and put on the do not fly list for the rest of her life.

  9. jjmoore

    July 28, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Dao hasn’t ruined it… it’s liberal “recharacterization” of the law, which basically means not only resisting law enforcement, but criminalizing law enforcement.

  10. AirLokita

    July 30, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Good for her!

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