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Swedish Activist Fined in Plane Deportation Protest Faces New Trial

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  A Swedish Appeals Court on Friday ordered a new trial for Elin Ersson, a Swedish woman, convicted of violating air traffic regulations by trying to stop the deportation of an Afghan man.

Ersson was in February ordered to pay a fine of 324 dollars over her protest, but appealed the Gothenburg district court’s ruling.

After the ruling, the Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet revealed that one of the three lay jurors in the case had labeled Ersson a criminal in an online comment prior to the trial.

This suggested the juror was biased, the Court of Appeal for Western Sweden said.

It overturned the ruling and ordered a new trial at the district court.

Ersson live-streamed her July 23, protest to Facebook from inside the plane at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport.

The clip, which showed her refusing to take her seat, went viral.

Ersson was heard saying in the video that other passengers had also stood up in support.

The stand-off involving Ersson, a Turkish Airlines flight attendant and several other passengers, was resolved when the Afghan man and Ersson disembarked.

The prosecutor had called for a two-week prison sentence.

The district court, however, said a fine was sufficient.

It found that Ersson was aware of the captain’s order to take her seat and failing to comply was punishable.

The man was later deported to Afghanistan.

Ersson, 21, is a member of an activist group in the western city of Gothenburg that has staged regular protests against deportations to Afghanistan. (/NAN)


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