Sensational claims are emerging today that world leaders faked photographs that showed them leading the Paris March of Unity yesterday. The march took place in the wake of the killing of 17 people by Muslim terrorist extremists in Paris last week, with a reported three million people taking to the streets of Paris and across France in an incredible and moving show of unity. World leaders flocked to Paris to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with the French people.
Photographs emerged showing world leaders linking arms seemingly at the front of the huge march. Some of the political big names who took part were British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
It is emerging tonight however that the photographs of world leaders may not have been all that they seem. The Independent is reporting this evening that a different perspective on the leader's portion of the march has emerged in the form of a wide shot displayed on French TV news reports.
These images seem to show that rather than actually leading the march, the world leaders were in a sealed off street. It shows that the front line of leaders was followed by just over a dozen rows other dignitaries and officials – after which there was a large security presence maintaining a significant gap with the throngs of other marchers.
The leaders were presumably separated from the marchers for security reasons but it has raised questions as to whether the leaders were actually part of the march at all. Some of the sensational pictures have leaked onto social media with comments suggesting that the leaders did not lead the march at all.The Financial Times Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi commented: "Seems world leaders didn't 'lead' Charlie Hebdo marchers in Paris but conducted photo op on empty, guarded street." The Huffington Post is reporting this evening that politicians fought to be at the front of the picture, which many said showed them heroically "leading" the marches.
Critics suggest the government figures were misleading the public and it was all just a "photo op."
U.S commentator Gerry Hassan called the leaders' contribution "pseudo-solidarity."In the U.S., President Barack Obama has been criticized for failing to attend the march in Paris. The New York Daily News called the U.S.'s failure to send a senior official to the march "Shameful."
"The United States of America, Barack Obama, President, was inexcusably absent from one of the most critical turning points in the war between radical Islam and the West since 9/11."Amidst all the criticism, student Axel Fougner summed up the views of many.
"Hypocritical world leaders showing up in Paris does not in any way reduce the sincerity of the millions who marched for #jesuischarlie."If the criticisms of world leaders prove to be correct what do you think of their actions?