Video from China shared to falsely claim Muslim immigrant attacked a woman in Spain

By: Anurag Baruah
June 28 2023

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Video from China shared to falsely claim Muslim immigrant attacked a woman in Spain


The Verdict False

There is no indication that the attack, which took place in 2019 in China's Liaoning province, was communally motivated.

Claim ID 482a4412

(Trigger Warning: Mentions of physical assault and rape)


Rising immigration in Europe has not only been the subject of political debates in the continent but has also coincided with the spread of Islamophobic narratives on social media. A video is going viral with the claim that it shows a Muslim immigrant attacking and raping a woman in Spain. In the disturbing surveillance camera footage, a man can be seen suddenly accosting an unsuspecting woman on the street, repeatedly punching and kicking her, and then trying to disrobe her before dragging her out of sight of the CCTV. However, the video is not from Spain.

In Fact

On closer inspection of the video, we could spot a time and date stamp in the surveillance video indicating that the incident took place on June 22, 2019 at around 12.44 am. The location of the incident could not be ascertained from the footage at this point.   

A reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video led us to a news report published by the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily on June 26, 2019. The report included a screengrab from the viral video and mentioned that the physical and sexual assault took place at Dalian in the Liaoning province of China. The news report also said that the Dalian Police had issued a statement about the attack and was investigating it.

Hong Kong-based daily South China Morning Post (SCMP) had also published a news report on the incident on 26, 2019. The report, which also carried a screenshot from the viral video, stated that “internet sleuths” had identified the location of the incident as a street in the Ganjingzi district in Dalian of Liaoning province. The report also revealed that the police managed to nab the attacker after a nationwide manhunt. The report said the accused was a 31-year-old man who used the surname Wang. The report did not mention his full name. SCMP also reported that the police confirmed that the accused, who had been drinking after an argument with his girlfriend, did not know the victim. The report also quoted a police statement which said that the accused had claimed he was “emotional” after an argument with his girlfriend. 

Other news websites, such as China Plus, also reported on the incident. None of the reports mentioned anything about the attacker being a Muslim or termed the attack communally motivated. 

The Verdict

The claim that the video is from Spain and shows a Muslim immigrant attacking a woman is false. The video is actually from China. The attacker did not know the victim, and there is no indication that the attack was communally motivated. Therefore, we mark this claim false.

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English , অসমীয়া

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before