Misleading: A doctor was attacked in Spain for asking a Muslim woman patient to remove her hijab.

By: Ankita Kulkarni
March 16 2023

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Misleading: A doctor was attacked in Spain for asking a Muslim woman patient to remove her hijab.


The Verdict Misleading

A 2021 video of a man assaulting a Russian doctor for reportedly complimenting his wife is being misrepresented with an fresh communal spin.

Claim ID 94bc8d01


Videos posted on social media, often with misleading claims, have been used to polarise people on communal or religious lines and have even led to several incidents of violence. One such recent video shared by several verified accounts on Twitter in India showed a man assaulting a doctor. In one tweet the video was shared with the caption: “Viral video from Spain claims, A local doctor was attacked by a radical migrant husband just for asking his wife to remove hijab for medical examination.” The post has been retweeted over 5,300 times and has been liked by more than 11,000 users on Twitter.

In Fact

After running a reverse image search on a screengrab taken from the viral video, we found that the incident in question appears to have taken place in the Siberian town of Nizhnevartovsk in Russia, not Spain, in 2021. A report published on September 28, 2021, on the website of state-run Russian news channel Russia Today (RT), carried the same viral video.

The headline of the report read, “Man in Russia charged with ‘hooliganism’ after badly beating male dermatologist who said hijab-wearing wife’s skin was ‘beautiful’”. According to the report, a man in Russia was placed under house arrest for assaulting a male dermatologist. The dermatologist, Vladimir Zhirnokleev, told the media that he had not asked the woman to undress and simply asked her to show her elbows, stomach, and back.

The report added that incident, which took place on September 21, 2021, took place after the woman complained to her husband that the medical examination did not comply with the "Muslim law." The woman's husband, identified as 29-year-old Bakhriddin Azimov, was later recorded assaulting the doctor on video. News outlets like the Daily Star relied on RT for reports on the incident as well.

It should be noted that the veracity of the reporting from RT and other sites where a similar report has been found cannot be confirmed. RT and several of these sites have been consistently involved in the promotion of propaganda and conspiracy theories. The reliability of other sites which have run the story without citing RT such as Online Nigeria has not been determined by independent organizations such as mediabiasfactcheck.org, While these reports do not employ the same Islamophohobic narrative used in the recent viral tweets, some of them also have Islamophobic undertones.

Even though the veracity of the RT report cannot be entirely confirmed, the claims with which the video is currently being shared are clearly misleading. The incident is definitely not a recent one (as the posts in question appear to imply), and took place at least 18 months ago. There are also no reports or evidence which suggest that this incident took place in Spain, or that the incident took place because the woman was asked to remove her hijab.

In view of the communal narrative that the videos are being shared with, it is important to point out these discrepancies, even if the exact details cannot be confirmed.

The Verdict

The video appears to show a man thrashing a Russian doctor in Siberia in September 2021 for complimenting his wife's skin, according to RT. The incident is not related to her hijab. The video is being maliciously shared with a communal spin. Therefore, we mark this claim misleading.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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