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HomeFact CheckVideo Of 2021 Club Brawl Falsely Linked To Italy Migrant Crisis

Video Of 2021 Club Brawl Falsely Linked To Italy Migrant Crisis

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
A clash breaks out between police and illegal immigrants, against the backdrop of the recent migrant crisis in the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Fact
Viral video dates back to 2021 and is of a brawl outside a nightclub in Marotta, Italy.

Several social media users are circulating a video of a purported clash between police and civilians, claiming that the incident is from Lampedusa, a small Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea, where illegal migrants are fighting with the police and the local residents, demanding to be allowed into Europe.

The Migrant Crisis In Lampedusa

Lampedusa, which lies closer to Tunisia than Sicily, recently saw an influx of migrants with 7,000 people arriving in two days, prompting its mayor and the United Nations refugee agency to warn the Italian island is becoming overwhelmed. The island, whose population is under 7,000, has long been a first port of call for people crossing from north Africa and has been a flashpoint in Europe’s migration crisis.

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Fact Check

Newschecker ran a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this Youtube video, dated August 10, 2021, uploaded by Italian regional broadcaster Rossini TV, headlined in Italian, “Fighting and knifing, law enforcement requests for reinforcements in Marotta”.

Taking a cue from this, a relevant keyword search led us to this Italian news report, dated August 7, 2021, stating that a violent brawl took place between dozens of young people who outside a nightclub in Marotta, Pesaro, which left two carabinieri (members of the Italian paramilitary police) injured.

“Around 5 in the morning, a furious argument broke out between a young Albanian man and a Senegalese man, a harsh back-and-forth which then led to physical aggression, with the first boy stabbing the second. In short, as reported by the local authorities, the situation literally degenerated, with dozens of kids involved in a huge brawl,” read the article, translated from Italian, adding, “4 boys have been identified and arrested: the stabber of Albanian nationality, one of his compatriots, a Colombian and a Senegalese.”

A further search led us to another Italian media report, which confirmed that the viral video is of the club brawl. “Four arrests were made: a Senegalese, a Colombian and two Albanians, including the stabber, who will have to answer for attempted murder among others. For all the charges range from aggravated injuries, to resisting public officials, as well as damaging the carabinieri’s car.  The two carabinieri, having noticed the fight, intervened even though they were clearly outnumbered. The boys, many drunk, also attacked the men in uniform, who were surrounded and beaten. Luckily they were rescued by their colleagues, who arrived after the report. The carabinieri car was damaged and hit several times by clubs and sticks,” read the report. 

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Conclusion

A video of a brawl outside a nightclub in Marotta, Italy, in 2021, falsely claimed to show illegal migrants and police clashing in Lampedusa.

Result: False

Sources
Youtube video, Rossini TV, August 10, 2021
il Giornale report, August 7, 2021


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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