FACT CHECK: Did Pro-Palestine Activists Recently Set Fire To A Police Station In Brussels?
A viral video shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports to show pro-Palestine activists setting fire to a police station in Brussels, Belgium recently.
pro-Palestine activists set fire to a police station in Brussels pic.twitter.com/eRtFfoEcO5
— Louis Montpellier Natio (@Natio_1976) October 17, 2023
The video shows Belgian rioters setting a police station on fire in 2021 after Ibrahima Barrie died in police custody as a result of allegedly violating COVID-19 restrictions, according to the Daily Mail.
At least seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank amid the current Israel-Hamas conflict, according to Al Jazeera. Thus far, at least 3,785 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the conflict, the outlet reported.
“Pro-Palestine activists set fire to a police station in Brussels,” the X video, viewed over 90,000 times, purports. In the video, a group of protestors wearing dark clothing can be seen running away from a nearby police station as a fire burns.
The video does not show pro-Palestine activists, however. The video instead shows Belgian rioters setting a police station on fire in 2021 after Barrie died in police custody as a result of allegedly violating COVID-19 restrictions, according to the Daily Mail. The 23-year-old was arrested after he violated Brussels’ COVID-19 restrictions limiting outdoor gatherings to four people, the outlet reported. Barrie was taken to the police station, where officers said he fainted. He was then transported to a hospital where he later died, also according to the outlet.
Barrie’s death prompted rioters to throw Molotov cocktails at the police station as well as attack King Phillipe’s vehicle while he was en route to his official residence.
A video published on the Daily Mail’s website matches the clip that went viral on X.
Police arrested 116 people in relation to the protest sparked by Barrie’s death, according to VOA News. Police said protestors “threw projectiles, set fires, [and] damaged street furniture and police vehicles,” the outlet indicated. (RELATED: Image Showing Dead Children Is From Syria, Not Gaza)
Likewise, Check Your Fact did not find any credible news reports suggesting pro-Palestine activists recently set fire to a police station in Brussels. The claim is neither repeated on the Belgian Federal Police’s website nor on its verified social media accounts.
Check Your Fact has contacted the Belgian Federal Police for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.