An image of a group welcoming refugees in Kent, United Kingdom is viral with claims that it shows Samuel Paty, a French teacher who was decapitated on October 16 for showing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed to his class. The image has three people holding placards reading 'Refugees Welcome'.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Surendra Poonia in a tweet falsely claimed that the image features Paty from a few years ago, when he welcomed refugees in Paris. Netizens have taken a dig at Paty with the narrative that states how a teacher paid a price for allowing refugees to settle in his country and also warned Indians who support the Rohingyas moving into the country illegally.
Samuel Paty, a teacher was decapitated outside his school on October 16 by Abdullakh Anzorov of Chechen origin, settled in France. As part of a discussion on free speech Paty had shown the class images of Prophet Mohammed alongside caricatures and cartoons on different topics. These caricatures were part of the Charlie Hebdo series which led to a deadly assault at their offices in 2015. Anzorov arrived in France when he was six and had been granted asylum and a residence permit until 2030. According to reports, he had established contacts with radical Islamist fighters from Syria.
Poonia tweeted the photo with the caption, "The man who is standing in the middle is the same teacher who was beheaded in Paris a few days back. Some years ago, he was seen welcoming refugees in France. Little did he know that one day they'll behead him. This is a message for those liberals in India who want to settle Rohingya refugees here."
Original text in Hindi: फ़ोटो में जो बीच में खड़ा है वो वही टीचर है जिसका एक जिहादी ने पेरिस में सर काट दिया था...कुछ साल पहले वो फ़्रांस में आने वाले Refugees का स्वागत कर रहा था पर उसे क्या पता था कि वो refugee उसी का गला काट देंगे....ये उन लिबरांडुओं के लिये है जो भारत में रोहिंग्या को बसाना चाहते हैं)
Click here for the archive of the image.
BOOM was able to ascertain that the image is recent as all the three people can be seen wearing masks. We ran a reverse image search and found that the photo was tweeted by Good Chance, a UK based community closely working with refugees. The description of the image states that a team from Good Chance was present in Folkestone, a town in SE England, to 'Welcome Refugees'.
A handle Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) @_KRAN_ was also tagged in the tweet.
We reached out to KRAN, an organisation supporting young refugees in Kent, UK, who confirmed that the image is from an event that they had hosted recently. Bridget Chapman, learning and project coordinator, KRAN, stated in an email, "The image was taken on October 17, 2020 outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone. It was taken at a Welcome Event for asylum seekers that we organised." Furthermore, Chapman stated that the individual misidentified as Samuel Paty is known to her and did not wish to reveal his identity.
Below is an image of Samuel Paty, used in an article by The Guardian.
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