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Video does not show Greek coastguard firing at migrant boat

It is actually from 2021, when Libyan coastguard opened fire at a migrant boat

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Claim: A video shows the Greek coastguard firing at a boat carrying migrants in the Mediterranean Sea to drown them. 

Fact: The video is unrelated to the Greece boat tragedy. It is from July 2021 when the Libyan coastguard shot at a crowded migrant boat in an attempt to prevent it from crossing into Europe. 

A fishing vessel carrying around 750 migrants, including at least 350 Pakistanis, capsized off the coast of Greece on 14 June 2023.

Fact or Fiction?

On 19 June 2023, Facebook user Baboo Saib posted a video claiming that it shows the Hellenic Coast Guard tried to drown the survivors of the Greece boat tragedy by firing at them. 

The video is accompanied by the following caption:

ویڈیو میں صاف دیکھا جا سکتا ھے۔کہ یونان کشتی حادثہ میں بچ جانے والوں کو فائرنگ اور تشددکرکے زبردستی ڈبویا گیا [It can be clearly seen in the video that the survivors of the Greece boat tragedy were forcibly drowned by firing and torture].”

A keyword search led us to articles by Al Jazeera and DW published, on 1 July 2021, about the Libyan coastguard firing at a migrant boat.

Al Jazeera stated that members of the Sea-Watch, a non-profit sea rescue group, captured footage of the Libyan coastguard shooting at a crowded migrant boat in an attempt to prevent it from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe. 

The incident was filmed during an aerial mission conducted by the German charity.

According to DW, the chase took place in international waters under Malta’s search and rescue responsibility, but the migrants eventually made it safely to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

We also found videos of the incident shared by Africanews and The Telegraph on YouTube. Based on key indicators, we ascertained that the viral video in question and these clips are from the same incident. 

Virality:

The claim can be found here, here, here, here and here on Facebook.

The video posted by Baboo Saib gained significant traction, receiving 5.8 million views, 90,000 likes, 4,200 comments and 89,000 shares on Facebook.

On X, formerly Twitter, it was posted here, here, here, here and here.

Conclusion: It’s an old video from 2021 that shows the Libyan coastguard shooting migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.


To submit an appeal on our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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