Video of man being detained in Sweden falsely linked to riots in France

By: Uzma Afreen
July 6 2023

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Video of man being detained in Sweden falsely linked to riots in France


The Verdict False

The video shows the Swedish police detaining a man who reportedly protested against the burning of the Quran in Stockholm.

Claim ID 17b12f89


A video (archive here) showing police detaining a man is circulating with the claim that he was trying to “ransack the premises of the rally of right-wing students” in France. The video is being shared against the backdrop of the civil unrest triggered by the killing of a 17-year-old by the police last week in France. However, this video is not from the recent unrest reported in France. 

In Fact

This video was taken in Sweden, not France, and is unrelated to the French protests. It shows a reaction to a recent incident where Salwan Momika, an Iraqi living in Sweden, set fire to a copy of Islam's holy book Quran outside Stockholm's central mosque on June 28, 2023, as reported by the BBC.

A Reuters news report with the headline “Protester burns Koran at Stockholm mosque on Eid holiday,” published on June 29, 2023, contains a photo visually similar to frames in the viral video. The report stated that police officers intervened after there was retaliation for the burning of the Quran. “Some of those present shouted "God is Great" in Arabic to protest against the burning, and police detained one man after he attempted to throw a rock,” Reuters reported. The BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera also reported on this incident.

We compared the viral video with pictures published by Reuters and noticed several similarities. The person detained wore the same clothing and sported a beard in both. The uniforms of the police officers also bore a resemblance to the police officers seen in the video. Moreover, codes “D11 3” and “D12 3” seen on the officers' uniforms in the video are also visible in the Reuters picture. 

Getty Images also published a picture of the man detained by the police on June 28, 2023. The photo was captioned, “Police arrest a man who threw stones at a protest where a koran was burned at the Stockholm mosque on June 28, 2023, in Stockholm, Sweden. While Muslims celebrate the most important holiday in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha, Swedish authorities approved a Koran-burning demonstration outside of a mosque in the center of Stockholm in a decision that may threaten Sweden's bid to join NATO. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images).”

The Verdict

The video is from Sweden, where a man reportedly protesting against the burning of the Quran in Stockholm on June 28, 2023, was detained by police. This video is not related to the ongoing violence in France. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 


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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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