Jet Passengers Refuse to Buckle Up, Save Deportee
They wouldn't fasten seat belts, and pilots couldn't take off
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2014 4:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Passengers aboard a Swedish plane united in a simple but effective protest that has stopped a deportation, at least for now: They refused to buckle their seat belts, and that was enough to keep the plane from taking off, reports the Independent. The unusual action took place when passengers got wind of the situation involving fellow passenger Ghader Ghalamere, a Kurd who was supposed to have been shipped back to his native Iran. Ghalamere fled his homeland five years ago and eventually settled in Sweden, where he now has a wife with Swedish citizenship and two kids.

That's apparently not enough to keep him in the country, however, and Swedish officials decided to give him the boot. After the passengers' protest, Ghalamere was removed from the plane and is now being held in a migrant detention center in central Sweden, reports the International Business Times. His legal situation hasn't changed, but backers are hopeful given how his plight is drawing international attention (along with the requisite Facebook page). “It's enough now,” says the leader of a refugee support group in Sweden. “No one who sees the family can doubt that it would harm the children to their father expelled.”

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Apr 16, 2014 12:58 AM CDT
For those commenting about his presumed illegal status and what a great thing this deportation is, you might want to actually read the whole story. More than 5 years ago he escaped Iran to Turkey and applied for refugee status, because of the probability of torture and execution if he returned to Iran. He was granted full refugee status by the UN Commission recognized by Sweden. He met his wife, a citizen of Sweden, while in Turkey. He spent years trying to find a country to accept him. He was finally allowed by the government of Sweden to enter the country. The original story reports that he meets the eligibility requirements for legal status to reside in Sweden, but Swedish law requires that he apply for the status from outside Sweden. After a year of working legally within the system to try to get his residence status approved, he went to Norway at the government's request to apply for an official residence visa and passport. However, when he got there, the Sweden embassy did not process his application. When he returned to Sweden to get his family and try to continue to work for what Swedish laws qualifies him for, he was arrested for deportation. So, yes, he was in Sweden illegally in the end, even though he entered legally and qualifies for legal residence. And the approach by the government of Sweden to resolve the problem - send him back to Iran for torture and execution.
Apr 16, 2014 12:47 AM CDT
He had children in Sweden? Let alone a wife. Gads, that state is against child abuse. See how seeing 9/11 as act of war, versus a thuggish criminal act, has screwed up the world? Did we toss the Irish for bombing each other for a century? Did we let them fund raise for the IRA in Boston pubs? What has happened to this fair land of freedom? Nice to see some sane people saying "Enough!" to the ploitical pettyfoggers of the world.
Apr 15, 2014 8:04 PM CDT
Good for the passengers, I like to see humans stick together in situations like this.