A video is viral on social media in which some people are seen climbing on top of a monument and waving the Algerian flag. It has been claimed that the video was filmed at the Republic Square in Paris during the recent protests and that the French authorities have surrendered to Muslim refugees.

While tweeting this video, Major Surendra Punia made a similar claim that refugees have ‘crushed’ the French society and that the authorities had surrendered. Along with this, he also warned that if Indians did not unite, the same thing would happen to them. (Archived link)

Sagar Kumar, who is associated with Sudarshan News, also tweeted this video and wrote, ‘Look what people from a “special community” have done in France’. He also mentioned that the Hindus of India should be careful and unite, otherwise someone would take over just like this in the future. (Archived link)

Sheetal Chopra, associated with the RSS, tweeted the video and wrote that Jihadis had captured the Republic Square in Paris and were establishing their rule in France. She also remarked that this would happen if an anti-national party was elected. (Archived link)

Similarly, many users, including Richa Rajput, the social media head of Uttar Pradesh BJP’s youth wing, also made the same claim while tweeting the video.

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Fact Check

We performed a reverse image search using frames taken from the video. This led us to a video uploaded on March 10, 2019, on the YouTube channel of the French international news agency AFP. The Algerian flag held by the protesters in this video matches the one seen in the viral video. The description of the video states that protesters waving Algerian flags occupied the Place de la République in Paris to protest against the decision of Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth term in office.

We also found a related image on the stock image website Alamy. It can be seen that the protestors are holding the flag of Algeria while climbing on top of the monument. The photo is dated March 3, 2019 and the description states that it is of a rally held at the Place de la République in Paris, France on March 3, 2019. This rally was taken out against the decision of the Algerian President to stand for a fifth term in office. According to the caption, on February 10 it was confirmed that Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika would run for a fifth term, triggering several protests in the North African country.

On March 10, 2019, France 24 journalist Selina Sykes also tweeted a video related to these protests. She wrote that French-Algerians and Algerians living in France were protesting against Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term. The Place de la République in Paris is filled with Algerian flags and banners calling for an independent and democratic Algeria.

To sum it up, a number of social media users shared a video of people protesting against Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth term in 2019 and falsely linked it to the ongoing violent protests over the recent death of a teen in France in police firing.

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About the Author

Abhishek is a senior fact-checking journalist and researcher at Alt News. He has a keen interest in information verification and technology. He is always eager to learn new skills, explore new OSINT tools and techniques. Prior to joining Alt News, he worked in the field of content development and analysis with a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).