No, this video does not show Maldivian President Muizzu being attacked in parliament

By: Rajeswari Parasa
February 2 2024

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No, this video does not show Maldivian President Muizzu being attacked in parliament

Screenshot of the viral claims circulating online. (Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The person seen on the floor in the video is Maldivian MP Abdulla Shaheem Abdul Hakeem, not President Mohammad Muizzu.

Claim ID dc84c7bf

What is the claim?

A 15-second video circulating on various social media platforms depicts a physical altercation among several individuals, with claims it captures an attack on Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu within the parliament premises. The footage reveals a chaotic scene where one man aggressively pulls the hair of another who is down on the floor, amid attempts by others to intervene.

On January 29, 2024, this video was posted on X (formerly Twitter), accompanied by the caption: "Today, Maldivian Mohammed Muizzu thrashed in the Parliament. Economy has faltered due to India's boycott (sic)."

Archived versions of such posts can be accessed here, here, and here.

Screenshot of the claims circulating online (Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)

This incident occurred days after a diplomatic row erupted between India and the Maldives, triggered by controversial statements by Maldivian ministers about India and its Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Lakshadweep. The controversy ignited a social media campaign in India, with hashtags like #BoycottMaldives urging people to explore domestic destinations for tourism. 

A video of this scuffle has been linked to the diplomatic row, as users claim that the assault on President Muizzu was over the Maldivian economy 'failing' after boycott calls in India. However, this claim is false.  

What did we find?

Contrary to the circulating claims, there is no verified news report about any assault on Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu. Media coverage actually refers to a confrontation within the Maldives parliament on January 28, 2024.

A report by The Telegraph on January 30, 2024, detailed that the altercation ensued after the opposition, the Maldivian Democratic Party, opposed the induction of four new members into President Muizzu's cabinet. This disagreement escalated into a violent clash among members.

The Telegraph identified the individuals involved in the scuffle as MPs Isa and Abdullah Shaheem Abdul Hakeem. The report further described that Isa was seen "kicking Shaheem's neck and pulling his hair" while others were trying to stop them.

A video of the scuffle was uploaded to the Telegraph's YouTube channel with the headline, "Violent brawl breaks out during parliamentary session in the Maldives" on January 30, 2024. We can see the now-viral visuals from the timestamp 0:28 to 0:40. 

Another Maldives local website, Ooredo, published a photo from the viral video, with the caption, "Screengrab from video showing Kanditheemu MP Abdulla Shaheem Abdul Hakeem get injured during violence that broke out between pro-government MPs and opposition MPs on January 28, 2023."

A comparison between the viral video, the Telegraph video, and images of President Muizzu also contradicts the claim made on social media. It was MP Hakeem, and not the Maldivian president, who was injured in the scuffle.

A comparison shows the differences between the person in the video and the Maldivian president. (Source: X/Telegraph/Screenshots)

The verdict 

A clash in parliament involving Maldivian MPs has been inaccurately presented as an attack on President Muizzu. Thus, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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