The plane passengers banded together

Passengers on a plane in Sweden went on seat belt strike and saved a refugee from deportation to Iran.

Last week, an Iranian man reluctantly boarded a plane in Sweden. The refugee was being forced to return to his native country, where his life would likely be in danger, even though he had a wife — a Swedish resident — and two young children in Östersund.

So, before the flight, Ghader Ghalamere’s family and friends informed other passengers of his situation. Once aboard, the plane passengers banded together and refused to fasten their seat belts in a moving display of solidarity. The flight did not take off with Ghalamere aboard, the Independent reported.

According to local reports, though Ghalamere had a legal right to stay in the country through his marriage to a Swedish resident, he needed to secure permission while outside Sweden. He initially tried to do so by traveling to the Iranian Embassy in Norway to obtain a passport — since he arrived in Sweden as a refugee without identification in 2007 — but was denied. It was then that Sweden’s Migration Board reviewed the Kurdish man’s case and ordered his deportation to Iran.

The Migration Board has opened a new case now. The news coverage has made Ghalamere somewhat conspicuous, which might turn out to be sufficient reason not to deport him to Iran. Score.


  1. wannabe says

    Can you imagine that being done here in the U.S.? Simply disobeying a member of a flight crew is “interference with flight crew” and a felony, itself punishable with up to 20 years imprisonment. Conspiracy to commit a felony is also a felony. Committing a felony to influence government action (as here) can be considered terrorism. Terrible publicity but rock-solid legal charges and you can bet there’s someone somewhere who’s just itching to arrest a whole planeload of terrorists.

    Of course the simplest thing to do is to charge the instigators, the family and friends of the subject. They can’t help him much if they’re in prison themselves.

    Oh, and put all the troublesome passengers on the “no-fly” list. Simple and cheap and no court involved.

  2. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    There’ve been several cases in the UK where plane crew and/or passengers have prevented people being forcibly deported.

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