Fact Check

Video: Dozens of Muslims Tortured in Burma?

A video purportedly captures Muslims trapped in a cage, but it likely depicts a training exercise for a Malaysian special forces unit.

Published Apr 5, 2017

A video shows dozens of Muslims being tortured in Burma.

On 29 March 2017, the Facebook group "Video Live" published a video purportedly showing dozens of Muslim men being tortured in a near-underwater cage in Burma:

These Muslims of Burma tortured just because they are Muslims... those of you who feel their face has only attempt to publish the video on global pages maybe you help them... and pray for them to share Jim Page Video Live [translated by Facebook]

This video possibly does not depict a group of Muslims being tortured in Burma, but rather a training process for the elite Malaysian commando unit Grup Gerak Khas. The earliest iteration of this video that we could uncover is a December 2016 YouTube clip titled "Basic Komando," and a very similar scene appears in a History Channel documentary about the Malaysian special forces unit.

At about the 32-minute mark of the History Channel documentary, the recruits are put in a water jail over a failure to follow orders:


In the video, a man who appears to be a soldier explains:

The mistake that these recruits made was that they didn't follow orders properly. We asked them to collect 1 kg of food but they only brought five or six pieces of food.

It's a big mistake so they have to be punished and jailed.

According to the History Channel, Malaysia's special forces unit Grup Gerak Khas undergoes a 13-week "selection course from hell":

Before large forces hit the combat zone, the Malaysian Army's special forces unit Grup Gerak Khas are the first men on the ground behind enemy lines. The GGK gained fame and recognition worldwide after successfully assaulting communist rebels in the 1960s, fought deep in the Malaysian jungles. Toughened by one of the world's most difficult training regimes, GGK commandos are experts in unconventional warfare, including sabotage, counter-terrorism and intelligence gathering. But what makes them stand out is their ability to fight and survive in the world's most extreme jungles. We go deep into one of the most elite strike forces and follow their 13-week selection course from hell. To earn the coveted Green Beret, recruits must go through three months relentless physical and psychological torture that will push them to their absolute limits, and break all but the best.

It is unlikely this video actually captures Muslims being tortured in Burma. However, many viewers may have been prone to believe that claim because the Burmese government has a history of violence against Rohingya Muslims. The Independent reported in February 2017 that Burmese authorities may have killed more than 1000 Rohingya Muslims during a recent crackdown. 


Peck, Grant.   "What's behind the persecution of Burma's Rohingya Muslims?"     The Independent.   1 December 2016.

Withnall, Adam.   "Burmese government 'kills more than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims' in crackdown."     The Independent.   8 February 2017.

Omar, Aref.   "The force is with them: History unveils new series, Asia's Special Forces with Terry Schappert."     New Straits Time. 22 January 2017.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

Article Tags

Read More

a Member

Your membership is the foundation of our sustainability and resilience.


Ad-Free Browsing on Snopes.com
Members-Only Newsletter
Cancel Anytime