A Kurdish man who was due to be deported back to Iran from Sweden got a last-minute reprieve after passengers on his plane refused to fasten their seatbelts, forcing the airline to cancel the flight.
Ghader Ghalamere and members of his family reportedly spoke to fellow passengers as they waited for the flight. They were evidently moved by his story. Fearing persecution, Ghalamere fled Iran years ago, and was granted refugee status in Turkey. From there, he was sent to Sweden, where he recently failed to obtain residency due to a complicated law that forced him to go to Norway and first apply from there. Swedish authorities then ordered his deportation. This meant separating him from his wife and young children, who are Swedish residents.
Thanks to the solidarity of his fellow passengers, Ghalamere was taken off the plane, brought to an immigrant detention centre, and released. His fate is still uncertain; his case is currently undergoing review by the immigration authorities. His supporters are planning demonstrations in the coming days and have set up a Facebook group, which has more than 4,800 members.
Supporters posted this photo of Ghalamere and his family on Facebook
A protest held on Tuesday, just before Ghalamere was released.