Her tear-filled protest, videoed live via Facebook, made her a media darling and a global “hero,” particularly among proponents of open borders.
But it turns that when Swedish student Elin Ersson stalled a jetliner from takeoff for two hours July 24 – refusing to sit down because an Afghan immigrant on board was about to be deported – she was preventing the extradition of a man sentenced for assault and whose asylum application was rejected, Fox News reported.
The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported the man was sentenced for assault and eventually will be deported.
Fox News noted the Washington Post called Ersson’s stunt a “dramatic act of civil disobedience” and Newsweek magazine described her as a “hero.”
The Gothenburg University student’s video aboard a flight set to depart from Gothenburg for Istanbul was viewed nearly 5 million times on Facebook alone.
She says in the video “there is a man who is going to get deported to Afghanistan, where he will most likely get killed” and declares she “won’t sit down until this person is off the plane.”
“I am doing what I can to save a person’s life,” she says. “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.”
Under the Swedish Aviation Act, Ersson could face significant fines and possibly jail time for disobeying orders and preventing the flight from Gothenburg to Istanbul from departing.
When an irate passenger tried to take her phone, she persisted, saying it wasn’t her fault he was being deported.
“I’m trying to change my country’s rules. I don’t like them. It’s not right to send people to hell,” she said.