Video claiming to show Guinean mayor being beaten debunked


For several days, a video showing a man in underwear being held and beaten has spread like wildfire on social media networks. Its author alleges that it shows residents of Siguiri in Guinea punishing the town’s mayor for ‘embezzlement’. But as we’ve been able to show, the claim is entirely false.

The video, shown below, has been circulating online since last Thursday. It was published on the Facebook page of ‘Mali Koura’, a Malian group with some 60,000 members.

Although the footage was filmed in Siguiri – as its author claims – it dates back to June 2014. At the time, the death of the town’s mayor had given rise to a struggle between two candidates for the vacant post. Both contenders came from the same party, ‘Rassemblement pour la Guinée-Arc-en-ciel’, led by the country’s president. But it was Aboubacar Sidiki Traoré – the candidate who hadn’t officially been picked by the party to stand - who came out on top.

Clashes soon broke out between supporters of the newly elected mayor and representatives of the party’s youth movement. The man on the ground in the footage is one of the mayor’s supporters. As one of our Observers explained to us when the incident took place, the video shows him being beaten by members of the youth movement. Our Observer even provided France 24 with the victim’s name, discrediting claims that he could be the town’s mayor.

The video was initially published on June 9, 2014 by a resident of Siguiri. It can be watched in full here. Warning: the footage is disturbing.


A cooked-up story

What’s more, France 24 has got in touch with Observers in Seguiri who have denied the existence of any recent scandals involving embezzlement.

Despite that, the video has registered more than 250,000 views and been shared over 6,800 times since it was uploaded on Thursday. Although a handful of users have pointed out the video’s real origins, viewers have paid little attention to their warnings.

To verify content posted online and put a halt to attempts to misinform, don’t hesitate to check out our verification guide.