Dutch officials debunk Donald Trump's Britain First tweet about 'Muslim migrant'

A video re-posted by the President claimed to show a 'Muslim migrant beating up a Dutch boy on crutches' – but it didn't

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 29 November 2017 18:00
comments
Donald Trump criticised for Britain First retweets

Dutch officials say that an inflammatory tweet that was shared by Donald Trump was also incorrect.

Mr Trump posted a video originally shared by Britain First's deputy leader which claimed to show a Muslim migrant. But the Dutch prosecutions service says the man shown was arrested and was born and raised in the Netherlands.

The first video retweeted by Mr Trump shows two young men fighting near a river bank, above which Ms Fransen wrote, "VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!".

Numerous reports had suggested however that the man was neither a Muslim or a migrant. Dutch officials have acted quickly to support the latter, saying instead that he was born and raised in the Netherlands.

"The public prosecution service Noord-Holland has studied the file submitted by the police," a spokesman for the Dutch public prosecution service told the Press Association.

"The suspect, who was born and raised in the Netherlands, received a HALT settlement. This has been successfully completed."

The boy's religion was not included in any reports.

The tweet from Ms Fransen is now the most popular post from any of the official Britain First Twitter accounts, receiving almost four times as many retweets as any other post since President Trump shared it on Wednesday morning.

All three of the videos retweeted by Mr Trump from far-right activist and deputy leader of Britain First Ms Fransen are more than six months old, and two date back as early as 2013.

While the other two posts do show Muslims, as claimed, the tweets did leave out key context in both cases.

The videos, tweeted by Ms Fransen on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and which the US President shared with his 43.6 million followers, fit with an established behaviour from Britain First of sharing old videos with misleading captions and no information about date or context.

Dutch officials confirmed the video was originally posted to a viral video site in May 2017 and picked up by Dutch media the following day.

Two 16-year-old boys were arrested, according to De Telegraaf, and police removed the video. The boy's religion was not included in any of the reports.

Another video is titled, "Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!".

The footage shows an incident during riots in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2013, in which several men were pushed 20ft from a rooftop and beaten.

Hamada Badr, 19, died from his injuries and Mahmoud Hassan Ramadan was executed for his murder in March 2015, according to the Egyptian interior ministry.

The third video, which Ms Fransen titled "Muslim Destroys Statue of Virgin Mary!", appeared on YouTube more than four years ago, in October 2013.

The caption on YouTube claims: "After invading and occupying a Christian region in Syria, a Muslim cleric declares the supremacy of Islam and Sharia law before smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary."

The lack of contextual information in the video and audio makes it very difficult to verify the claim as either true or false.

Ms Fransen and Britain First are regularly accused of sharing misleading videos and information on social media which targets Muslims.

In July, a Press Association investigation found at least 10 misleading videos posted by the group to Twitter and Facebook over a two-month period.

Despite being alerted to the misleading nature of those videos, Twitter and Facebook declined to remove them.

Ms Fransen, Britain First leader Paul Golding and the official Britain First accounts are all verified on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments