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April 16, 2014

Swedes rally around Iranian Kurd facing deportation

Flight passengers grounded airplane to prevent deportation of Kurdish refugee.
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Photo via Facebook 'stoppa utvisningen av ghader'.

A Kurdish refugee in Sweden was granted a last-minute reprieve from deportation to Iran just before his flight left the country. Fellow passengers on the plane refused to fasten their seat-belts and prevented the flight from leaving. 

Ghader Ghalamere feared persecution in Iran and fled in 2012, receiving refugee status from UNHCR and eventually settling in Sweden, where his applications for residency were unsuccessful. Before his flight on April 10, Ghalamere's family and friends explained the situation to other waiting passengers in the departure lounge. Once on the plane, the passengers refused to let the flight leave. 

Ghalamere was released from a temporary detention centre on Tuesday, though his case is still under review by the Swedish migration board. His release was met with celebration from supporters, who had campaigned against his detention with a petition and a Facebook group with more than 4,000 members.

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