This video shows police officers arresting protesters in Hong Kong in August 2019
A video has been viewed thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube which claim it shows Chinese police arresting people infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The claim is false; the video shows police arresting pro-democracy protesters at a subway station in Hong Kong in August 2019.
The three-minute seven-second video was published here on Facebook on March 15, 2020. It has been viewed more than 1,3000 times.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:
The Hindi-language caption translates to English as: “In India, people are making Coronavirus jokes on Facebook & WhatsApp but if you want to see the reality of this disease, look at this video from China. Watch it not once, not twice but thrice and carefully that Chinese people are locked in this chaos, and police are having a hard time to arrest the infected.”
COVID-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. It has since killed more than 21,031 people and infected more than 465,915 others worldwide, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 27, 2020.
The video has also been shared here and here on Facebook, here and here on Twitter, and here on YouTube, alongside a similar claim.
The claim is false; the video shows police arresting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in August 2019.
A reverse image search on keyframes extracted from the video in the misleading post found this video published on the YouTube channel of Rice Post, a Hong Kong-based news outlet, on September 1, 2019.
The Chinese-language caption translates to English as: “31/08/2019, Police rounded up demonstrators at Prince Edward Station, sprayed pepper spray into the compartment, and beat the people inside with a stick.”
Prince Edward station is a station on Hong Kong’s MTR system.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the Rice Post’s video on YouTube (R):
The video was also published here on Facebook in the early hours of September 1, 2019 by Rice Post journalist Pakkin Leung, who filmed the footage.
Following months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019, riot police stormed Prince Edward Station in the evening of August 31, 2019, making several violent arrests.
Hong Kong Police Force published this tweet on the same day, confirming they entered Prince Edward Station to “arrest offenders”.
The incident was also reported by other local media; including in this report by the South China Morning Post and this by Hong Kong Free Press, both published on September 1, 2019.
UPDATE: This article was updated on March 30 to clarify that Pakkin Leung filmed the original footage at Prince Edward station.