FACT CHECK: Did Dutch Soccer Fans Hold Up A Pro-Julian Assange Flag?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Dutch soccer fans holding up a flag in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Verdict: False

The image has been digitally manipulated. There is no message visible on the flag in the original photo.

Fact Check:

In July, the British government ordered Assange to be extradited to the U.S. where he will face charges for leaking secret military information, according to The Associated Press. Prior to this, he had spent more than three years in a prison in London, Bloomberg reported. He is currently fighting the extradition order and it remains to be seen if it will be upheld, the outlet reported.

An image shared on Facebook claims a group of Dutch soccer fans recently took up Assange’s cause. The image shows what appears to be Dutch soccer fans holding up a huge blue and white flag with the words, “Don’t Extradite Assange” on it during a match. “Now that’s big. Amsterdam, Holland,” reads the post’s caption.

The image has been digitally altered. A reverse image search reveals the original image can be found on Getty Images and shows soccer fans holding up an Israeli flag. Notably, there are no words on the flag. (RELATED: No, Julian Assange Was Not Chosen As Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year)

“An Israeli flag is shown by Ajax supporters during the Champions League Match between Ajax and Valencia in the Amsterdam Arena on March 03, 2003 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands,” reads the image’s caption. The same image was also included in a 2019 article from the Sunday Times about the Jewish songs often sung at Dutch football matches.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter