A story has been fabricated. The TF1 news channel did not publish such stories on its website or in social media.

Information is being spread online that in France, due to the terrorist threat, the authorities allegedly decided to remove Muslim police officers from accompanying the Olympic torch relay.

«The country has decided to remove all police officers who profess Islam from its escort. France’s internal security service suspects that there may be Muslim officers in the police force who have been recruited by radical groups,» reads a video with the symbols of the famous French news channel TF1.

«Can you smell democracy and equality?» some netizens commented on the video.

The Olympic flame arrived in France on 8 May. The relay across France will last 68 days and will end with the lighting of the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Games on 26 July. This year, the French government has indeed taken unprecedented security measures due to possible threats. However, reports that police officers who profess to be Muslims have been removed from escorting the Olympic torch relay are not true.

The French media reported that 18 police officers and gendarmes will be escorting the torchbearer along each section of the route. Not counting the mobile units deployed to ensure the safety of the Olympic torch relay, a total of 115 police and gendarmerie officers will be involved in the operation.

Jean-François Cozette, a lieutenant colonel in the gendarmerie and head of the torch relay, told BFM RMC Sport that police and gendarmes from all over France and all services were mobilised to protect the Olympic torch relay, with the main selection criterion being the physical qualities of the security forces.

«Since the torchbearers will change every 200 metres, the gendarmes will have to run the entire distance, so the system required people who could take on this race,» Cozette said.

It is important to note that a video with the symbols of the French news channel TF1 is the only source of reports that Muslim police officers have been allegedly removed from guarding the Olympic torch. However, this video is most likely a fake. To begin with, TF1 has never posted such a video on its social media channels, and indeed, there is no such news on their website at all.

Using a reverse Google Image search, StopFake journalists found out that propagandists used photos and videos from the stocks to create the fake video, some of which had nothing to do with the Olympic Torch Relay. For example, the video used an archival interview with Nicolas Lerner, then Head of the General Directorate of Homeland Security of the French Ministry of the Interior, for students of the Institute for Advanced National Defence Studies, filmed in February 2021. By the way, since 2023, Lerner has not held this position. He is currently the head of the General Directorate of External Security of the French Ministry of Defence.

StopFake also asked TF1 to confirm or deny that the channel had created this video, but at the time of publication, it had not received a response.
In the run-up to the European Parliament elections, Kremlin propaganda outlets are actively spreading various disinformation about EU member states, with the aim of convincing Europeans that the EU is «undemocratic». For example, StopFake journalists have previously refuted false reports that the EU is allegedly imposing censorship on the eve of the June elections.