Student activist Elin Ersson made headlines worldwide last week when she stopped the deportation of a man being sent back to Afghanistan from Sweden. But Swedish authorities say the asylum-seeker was not so innocent.
The man whose deportation was halted by Ersson had been denied asylum by Sweden and was being returned to his home country after serving time in a Swedish prison for assault.
Finish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported the refugee's criminal background last week, and said that he would eventually be deported. Swedish police confirmed to Fox News that the asylum-seeker had done time for assault in the country.
Authorities refused to disclose further information in the case.
But the Epoch Times reported that the 52-year-old had served two years after being convicted of battery in Sweden.
Fox News' Lukas Mikelionis pointed out that, despite widespread media coverage of Ersson's act of civil disobedience, outlets such as CNN confirmed that the asylum-seeker was being deported but omitted the reason why.
The New York Times pointed to Ersson's protest as an "act of defiance" that cast a "harsh light on Europe's deportations of asylum-seekers" — but also failed to report on the background of the man whose eviction she had squelched.
An investigation into Ersson's actions has been launched by the Swedish Prosecution Authority. She could face charges for violating air traffic regulations.