FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Algerians Demonstrating In September 2021?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Facebook purportedly shows protestors gathered in Algeria in 2021.

Verdict: Misleading

While the photo does show a protest in Algeria, the demonstration did not take place in 2021. Instead, the picture dates back to at least March 2019.

Fact Check:

The photo of a large crowd filling city streets with Algerian flags displayed has been shared over 270 times by Facebook users as if it comes from a recent protest in the country. In the comment section of this particular post, the Facebook user who posted it claimed it shows a demonstration that happened this month.

“REVOLUTION IN ALGERIA,” reads the caption. “No work,no transport, no schools, no businesses….. Everyone on the streets including police and army until the rotten government goes home. People power.” (RELATED: Do These Images Show Australian Protesters Who Were Hit With Rubber Bullets?)

A reverse image search via TinEye showed the photo dates back to at least March 2019. For instance, it appeared in a March 12, 2019, tweet whose Arabic-language caption roughly translates to: “The Arab countries need real revolutions, not to change the so-called head of state, but to eradicate the deep state, intelligence, military, whales of money and external influence. They need revolutions to achieve real independence from colonialism that has been in place for decades. Beware of repeating Egypt-Libya-Syria-Yemen scenarios. #Algeria.”

BBC News Arabic included the tweet in an article the same day that discussed protests that took place after then-Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who would go on to resign in April, announced that elections in the country would be postponed that year. Street demonstrations as part of the Hirak movement against the Algerian government began in February 2019, according to Reuters.

They ceased early in the COVID-19 pandemic until masses of protesters associated with the movement gathered in Kherrata, Algeria in February 2021, the outlet reported. In early May of this year, the Algerian Interior Ministry announced a new policy that prohibits protests without permits, according to Al Jazeera. That decision was perceived as a response to the Hirak movement, France 24 reported.

Bouteflika, whose intentions to seek a fifth presidential term in 2019 were decried by protesters, died earlier this month, CNN reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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