Viral video does not show angry mob manhandling Sri Lankan ministers

The men seen being manhandled in the video are allegedly prisoners

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Claim: Viral video depicts Sri Lankan ministers being manhandled by protestors.

Fact: The men shown being manhandled in the video are not Sri Lankan ministers. According to reports by Sri Lankan news organisations, members of the public began to beat up the men shown in the video because they believed them to be prisoners who were employed to attack anti-government protesters. The men allegedly claimed to be from Watereka Open Prison Camp.

On 14 May 22, a video was shared by Irshad Husain Bhatti on his Facebook page with the caption, “سری لنکا کے کرپٹ وزیروں کا حشر جو عوام نے کیا ! پاکستانیوں محب پورا سوچو؟ [This is the fate that the people of Sri Lanka brought upon their corrupt ministers! The lovers of Pakistan, think!]. The video went viral in Sri Lanka, before surfacing in Pakistan with misleading claims about the video’s content. Bhatti’s post claims that the video depicts Sri Lankan ministers being beaten up by anti-government protestors due to their alleged corruption.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be misleading. Sri Lankan ministers were not beaten up by the protestors.

According to reports by Sri Lankan news organisations, members of the public began to beat up the men shown in the video because they believed them to be prisoners who were employed to attack anti-government protesters. The men allegedly claimed to be from Watereka Open Prison Camp.

A Sinhalese news organisation called Lankadeepa posted this video on 10 May with the caption, “ගෝඨාගෝගමේ විරෝධතාකරුවන්ට පහර දෙන්න සිරකරුවන් ගෙන්වා ඇති බවට වාර්තා වෙයි” [It is reported that prisoners have been brought to attack the protesters in Gota].”  News reports on the incident published by other outlets can be found here, here, and here.

According to reports, an official investigation has been launched by Sri Lanka’s jail authorities to investigate the reports that prisoners were involved in the incident shown in the video.

Virality

In the wake of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, the video has gone viral. It has been shared multiple times with the same misleading claim across different social media platforms.

The video has gained significant traction and has received 45,000 views on Facebook. It has been shared on Facebook with the misleading claim here and tweeted here, here, here, here, here, here. Orya Maqbool Jan’s tweet with the misleading claim received 8,007 retweets, 1,303 quote tweets, and 348,000 views.

Conclusion: The viral video does not show Sri Lankan ministers being beaten up by anti-government protestors due to their corruption. According to Sri Lankan news reports, the men shown being manhandled in the video allegedly claimed to be prisoners from Watereka Open Prison Camp. Reports suggest they may have been employed to attack anti-government protesters, and so were beaten up by members of the public.

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