By: Ishita Goel
July 19 2023
No reports or records indicate that the French military has said that it is prepared to arrest French President Emmanuel Macron for treason.
A Facebook post carrying a screenshot of an article that reads, "French Military Say They Are Prepared To Arrest Macron for Treason," has gone viral.
The claim that the military is prepared to arrest French President Emmanuel Macron comes from the recent unrest in France that arose after a teenager named Nahel Merzouk was shot dead by a police officer in Nanterre, Paris, on June 27, 2023. This led to days of outrage over police brutality, demonstrations, and police deployment, and citizens have blamed Macron for this breakdown of law and order in the country.
However, there is no evidence to support the claim, which originates from a website known for regularly publishing misinformation.
The article was published by The People's Voice, formally known as NewsPunch and YourNewsWire, and is known for publishing fabricated stories with false and unverified information. Logically Facts has previously debunked numerous articles published by them.
The article claims that "several senior officers" said the French army was prepared to detain Macron and take temporary control over the government. However, it does not provide any evidence for these claims apart from a tweet by former Brexit Party politician Jim Ferguson who cited unconfirmed reports and misidentified a French authority figure.
On July 2, Ferguson tweeted about unconfirmed reports of senior and serving French military commanders having delivered an ultimatum to Macron. Ferguson added an image in his tweet, claiming that it shows former French Chief of Defence Staff General Pierre de Villiers.
However, we found that the image doesn't show de Villiers but the former French Chief of Defence Staff, General Francois Lecointre, according to Getty Images, who published the same image and credited it to AFP photographer Joel Saget. According to the Grand Chancellery of the Legion of Honor, Lecointre retired from the Chief of Defence Staff position in July 2021.
We could not find any credible reports corroborating the claim that the French military, General Lecointre, or General de Villiers said they were ready to arrest Macron. We also found no sign of such a statement on France's Ministry of the Armed Forces website or their social media accounts.
Further, a spokesperson for France's Ministry of the Armed Forces told Reuters that they have issued no such statement or the Ministry of the Interior. Logically Facts has also contacted France's Ministry of Armed Forces for clarification. This story will be updated if and when we receive a response.
There is no evidence that the French military has said it is prepared to arrest Macron for treason. The story claiming the same was originally published by a website known for publishing misinformation. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.