Czech police investigate viral 'anti-migrant' video

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Ten fully-clothed women wearing veils appear to be making their way through the ocean. One carries a bundle and a few appear to be drowning. A video of the scene pans to a television crew pointing a camera towards the coastline, filming the ordeal. The video’s narrator is heard saying “Is this a scam? The director is shooting a scene of ‘the migrants drown in the sea!'”

Since July 31, the video has been shared 1.2 million times (AFP) across Europe, including in the Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, France and the UK. Many posts claim or insinuate that the video depicts journalists engaging in propaganda work or participating in the production “fake news.”

Marek Chrastina, a Czech policeman who filmed the footage whilst on holiday in Crete, is now at the center of an internal police investigation for the video, reports Czech broadcaster Rozhlas.

The video was taken down from YouTube for violating terms of policy regarding misleading content. But it has since been uploaded to other websites, such as Patriargate.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the video actually shows filmmakers filming a documentary about Greek migrants escaping Asia Minor during the Turkish-Greek war in 1922.

As part of a verification process, the French press agency also uncovered that Marek Chrastina was the author of the video. He initially posted the video, filmed it on July 23, to his Facebook page before it was picked up by Czech news agencies and websites.

On August 25, Chrastina admitted that his video presented the situation incorrectly, according to AFP.

One of the documentary’s film crew, Eleni Vlassi, told AFP that she is reserving the right to follow a legal course against Chrastina for defaming her in the viral video.

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