Why rumours that French police killed a pro-Palestinian protester are likely false

An article that went viral on May 30 on X claims that Algerian student Samir Hamdaoui died four days after being arrested by police on May 7 during a pro-Palestinian protest in front of Paris's Sciences-Po university. However, there is no proof behind these accusations: the Paris prosecutor's office as well as other student protesters at Sciences-Po told our team that they had never heard of this person.

If you only have a minute:

  • An article that went viral on X claims that an Algerian student named Samir Hamdaoui died four days after being arrested by Paris police on May 7 during a pro-Palestinian protest in front of French university, Sciences-Po.

  • However, there is no proof to back up these allegations, which have largely been shared by pro-Russian social media networks.

  • The Paris prosecutor's office told the Observers team that no one named Samir Hamdaoui was arrested on May 7, the day the protests took place in front of Sciences-Po. Our team also spoke to several students at Sciences-Po who said they didn’t know anyone of that name.

  • The police did arrest two student protesters in front of Sciences-Po on May, though neither of them were Hamdaoui. On the same day, police also arrested 86 student protesters a few hundred metres away from Sciences-Po at another French university, the Sorbonne. However, a lawyer representing several of these students said that he had never heard of Hamdaoui either.

The factcheck, in detail:

A number of French and English-language accounts on X, some of which regularly share fake news, have been spreading the story about Hamdaoui.

Article by Nathan Gallo and Selma Sisbane.


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