In an act of civil disobedience against her government’s inhumane treatment of refugees that quickly went viral, 21-year-old Swedish student Elin Ersson prevented the immediate deportation of an Afghan asylum-seeker on Monday by refusing to sit down on a flight until the 52-year-old man was removed from the plane.
“I’m not going to sit down until this person is off the plane,” said Ersson, who streamed her protest live on Facebook. As of this writing, the Facebook video has over five million views.
If the man is deported, Ersson said, “he’s going to get killed” by ongoing war, which the U.S. launched by invading Afghanistan in 2001.
“What is more important, a life, or your time?” Ersson asked as passangers implored her to sit. “I want him to get off the plane because he is not safe in Afghanistan. I am trying to change my country’s rules, I don’t like them. It is not right to send people to hell.”
“I hope that people start questioning how their country treats refugees,” Ersson told the Guardian in an interview on Wednesday. “We need to start seeing the people whose lives our immigration [policies] are destroying.”
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