FACT CHECK: Was Greta Thunberg’s Detainment In Germany Staged?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purports 20-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s arrest in Germany was staged for publicity.

Verdict: False

Thunberg was detained but not placed under arrest. She and other climate activists were briefly detained during a Jan. 17 protest at a German coal mine, according to Reuters.

Fact Check:

Thunberg accused elites who are attending the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of “prioritizing self-greed and short-term economic profits above people and above planet,” according to CNBC. Thunberg also criticized the United Arab Emirates’ decision to name Sultan al-Jaber as president of this year’s COP28 climate summit, the outlet reported.

The Instagram video, liked over 2,000 times, purports Thunberg was allegedly arrested during the protest and that the arrest was supposedly staged. “Watch her laugh and pose for the cameras,” the video’s caption reads.

The claim is false. While there are credible news reports indicating Thunberg had been detained by police, none of them suggest the move was staged. Likewise, Thunberg has not publicly responded to the purported claim she was allegedly arrested and that the supposed arrest was staged.

In addition, searches of the Aachen Police’s website and verified social media accounts do not generate any mention of the purported claim. (RELATED: No, Greta Thunberg Did Not Cancel A Global Warming Conference Due To Cold Weather)

A video posted on YouTube by Global News shows Thunberg and other climate activists at the protest. A police officer can be heard telling the protestors he “will use force to bring [them] to the identity check” if they do not cooperate. Moments later, three officers carry Thunberg away from the protest and to the “identity check” area.

“The entire group of people, including Thunberg had to give their personal details to the police, they were not under arrest,” Aachen Police spokesperson Dana Zimmermann told Check Your Fact in an email.

Thunberg and other climate activists were briefly detained during a Jan. 17 protest at a German coal mine, according to Reuters. She was released after police escorted her away from the mine and verified her identity, the outlet indicated. The German Police denied the detainment was staged, BBC News reported.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter


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