No, video doesn’t show clashes between migrants and police in Lampedusa

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
September 19 2023

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No, video doesn’t show clashes between migrants and police in Lampedusa

X posts claiming that the video depicts a recent altercation between police and immigrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

An unrelated video from Marotta, Italy, dating back to 2021, is being shared to claim that it shows Lampedusa amid the recent migrant influx in 2023.

Claim ID 715fbec0



In September 2023, the Italian island of Lampedusa saw 7,000 migrants arriving by boat on the shores of the island in just two days. These migrants, originating from various African nations, including Ivory Coast, Guinea, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Tunisia, had lived and worked in Tunisia for years before embarking on their European journey, according to The Associated Press. Situated between Tunisia, Malta, and the Italian island of Sicily, Lampedusa is the first port for migrants aiming to reach the European Union and is targeted by people smugglers. This sudden surge in arrivals, exceeding even the island's full-time resident population, prompted local politicians to request emergency assistance. According to Reuters, Mayor Filippo Mannino urged Europe and the Italian state to provide rapid support and facilitate the swift transfer of these individuals. 

What's the claim?

Even as the island finds itself overwhelmed by this influx of migrants, a video is circulating claiming to depict a recent clash between law enforcement and immigrants in Lampedusa. The one-minute eight-second-long video shows a brawl involving numerous people and police. This altercation can be seen occurring in the presence of a parked Carabinieri vehicle. The Carabinieri constitute one division of the Italian military police force, responsible for both domestic and foreign policing duties. Notably, some participants in the altercation can be seen targeting a uniformed officer, using him as a shield during the confrontation.

The video has been shared with captions: "Give them accommodation, feed them and then they attack you in your own home? In #Italy. Direct clashes between migrants and police began on the island of #Lampedusa. Illegal immigrants throw stones at the carabinieri and demand that they be sent to #Europe. -Intelsky." The archived versions of the posts can be found here and here. One such X post has garnered around 1,42,800 views.

Screengrab showing claims circulating online. (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

The video was also shared on Facebook, claiming that it showed illegal immigrants on Lampedusa fighting with police, while another user claimed that it showed an invasion of migrants attacking the police and demanding to be sent to Europe. These claims can be found archived here and here.

Screengrab showing claims made on Facebook. (Source: Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this video actually shows a 2021 incident in a different part of Italy and is not related to the recent migrant situation in Lampedusa.

What really happened?

Upon conducting a reverse image search of the video's keyframes, we found several media reports dating back to August 2021. 

An August 7, 2021, article in the Italian-language daily "il Giornale Nuovo" included a screengrab from the video in question and reported that the incident occurred in Marotta di Mondolfo, situated within the Province of Pesaro e Urbino. The report further stated that the incident took place on August 7 during the "Metropoly of Music" event organized by the Miu Club in Marotta. This event commenced at 9 p.m. and continued until the break of dawn. Around 5 a.m., a heated altercation erupted between a young Albanian man and a Senegalese man, which escalated into physical violence, culminating in the Albanian stabbing the Senegalese individual.

Another Italian newspaper, "Leggo," featured a video resembling the viral footage but captured from a different angle. Further, it reported that two Carabinieri officers were attacked by drunken youths, who surrounded and assaulted them. The officers were later rescued by their colleagues after their vehicle was damaged and hit with clubs and sticks.

Through a comparison between the viral video and the one featured in the Leggo news report, we noticed a man wearing a black t-shirt embellished with green markings and a tall individual sporting a blue hoodie in both clips. These elements prove that both videos originate from the same incident.

A comparison between the viral video (L) and the 2021 Leggo upload (R). (Source: X/Leggo/Screenshots)

A comparison of the now-viral video (L) and the video uploaded by Leggo in 2021 (R). (Source: X/Leggo/Screenshots)

Il Resto del Carlino, another Italian newspaper, reported that the police arrested four young individuals over the altercation. This report also included a blurred rendition of the version that Leggo published. According to the report, the individual responsible for the stabbing faced charges of attempted murder, while all four were collectively charged with involvement in the brawl, aggravated assault, resistance against authorities, and damage to the police vehicle. 

Further, contrary to claims, the incident captured on camera did not occur in Lampedusa but in Marotta di Mondolfo. Lampedusa is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, known for its immigration and tourism, while Marotta di Mondolfo is a town on the Italian mainland in the Province of Pesaro e Urbino.

The verdict

A video has been falsely shared with the claim that it portrays a recent altercation between police and immigrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa. This video is from a 2021 incident in Marotta di Mondolfo, Italy, which is distinct from Lampedusa and unrelated to the recent migrant crisis. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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