The claim: A French doctor was arrested for prescribing ivermectin
A video circulating widely online shows a French doctor being arrested by police. His crime, according to social media users?
Prescribing an anti-parasitic drug to treat COVID-19.
"French doctor is arrested and beaten by for (sic) police for prescribing life-saving Ivermectin to his sick patients," reads the caption of an Oct. 3 video posted to Facebook.
Authorities arrested the doctor, Jean-Paul Theron, Sept. 20 in Paea, a commune near Papeete in French Polynesia, according to the Associated Press. But not for prescribing the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin, as the post claims – Theron was arrested for assault.
USA TODAY reached out to social media users who shared the post for comment.
French doctor arrested for assault
The claim appears to stem from several complaints against Theron from authorities in French Polynesia. The AP reported officials are investigating Theron for practicing medicine in retirement and for not having a permanent practice or adequate medical supplies.
CheckNews, a French fact-checking organization, reported Theron is also accused of prescribing hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat lupus rheumatoid arthritis, to 140 patients outside of hospital protocol.
On Sept. 16, a bailiff visited Theron's home to deliver documents related to the investigation. Prosecutors say Theron verbally and physically attacked the bailiff, according to Radio 1, a news outlet in French Polynesia. The officer then accused him of assault.
When authorities visited Theron's home Sept. 18 to question him, the doctor allegedly verbally assaulted the officers, Radio 1 reported. Officials then opened an investigation of contempt against Theron.
Police say the doctor did not show up for his court appearance Sept. 19, and he was arrested Sept. 20, the AP reported.
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The head of the public prosecutor's office said in a recording published by Radio 1 that the arrests are not related to Theron's activity as a doctor.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a French doctor was arrested for prescribing ivermectin. Theron was arrested for allegedly assaulting a bailiff.
Our fact-check sources:
Associated Press, Sept. 24, Doctor in French Polynesia arrested for assault, not prescribing ivermectin
USA TODAY, Aug. 13, Fact check: Ivermectin is not a proven treatment for COVID-19
Check Your Fact, Sept. 30, Fact check: Does this video show a French doctor being arrested for prescribing ivermectin?
Polynesia 1, Sept. 20, Doctor Jean-Paul Théron arrested by the gendarmes
CheckNews, accessed Oct. 6, Tahiti: was Doctor Théron arrested because he was applying Didier Raoult's treatment?
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: French doctor not arrested for prescribing ivermectin