Here's what we know about Greta Thunberg's alleged ‘staged’ arrest in Germany

© Observers / Reuters

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was arrested on Tuesday, January 17 during a sit-in protest against the expansion of a coal mine in Lützerath, Germany. A video showing Greta seeming to pose for photographers while being held by police officers garnered more than ten million views in two days. This video has fed accusations that the arrest was staged. However, the video that has been circulating online is just a clip and the full video tells a different story. Moreover, a journalist who witnessed the incident said it was real, as did German police.

If you only have a minute:

  • The video that has been circulating online was filmed by a journalist from the Reuters news agency. In the full video, you can see Greta Thunberg participating in the sit-in with other activists. Then, the police grab her hands and feet and pull her away. Only later do the officers set her down and she is then photographed by the press.

  • A Reuters journalist says that they had no idea that Thunberg would be attending the protest and only realized she was there while covering the event.

  • Aix-la-Chapelle police said that they didn’t formally arrest Greta Thunberg and let journalists take a few pictures before they brought the Swedish activist over to a police van to check her identity and record her contact details.

The fact-check, in detail

"The fake arrest of #GretaThunberg. All set up for the cameras,” wrote one Twitter user who shared a video showing the smiling Swedish activist getting her picture taken while being held by two police officers, before being taken away.


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