A hero and a liar: a documentary series about Hassan Zubier, who helped victims of the Turku terrorist attack, will be released on Yle

The film will be shown in August on Yle Fem and will be available on Yle Areena.

In August, Yle will air a three-part film by Finnish by the Swedish journalist Matilda Güllenberg under the title “The Truth of Hassan Zubier – the story of the hero of the terrorist attack in Turku.” The tape tells the story of an immigrant who helped the victims of a knife attack in 2017, and a few months later became an anti-hero in the media. The film was directed by Arthur Frank .

When a migrant from Morocco attacked passers-by with a knife on August 18 at the Market Square in Turku, a tourist from Sweden tried to stop him. He also tried to prevent one of the attacks and helped the victims. After the terrorist attack, he was proclaimed a hero, and this is understandable in a situation where one migrant turned out to be a terrorist, and the other – a brave and noble person. For months Zubier was praised in the media and received a life-saving medal from the hands of President Sauli Niinistö and a medal for courage from Queen Elizabeth II (Zubier is a citizen of Sweden and Great Britain).

In an interview, he talked about his work as a peacekeeper in hot spots, about his student years at the Sorbonne and about a successful career in ambulance. But soon the picture he was building cracked, and overnight Zubier turned from a hero into a liar.

It turned out that in Sweden he was repeatedly tried for various crimes, including arson, theft and false signals to the rescue service. But the biggest blow to his reputation came when the State Treasury brought fraud charges against him.

During the terrorist attack, Zubier received two knife blows from the attacker. He became disabled and now moves in a wheelchair. On this basis, he requested compensation in the legal proceedings against the terrorist, but provided incorrect information about the lost income. He was awarded a lump sum of 7000 euros and 950 euros each month until he reaches the age of 65. The total amount was supposed to be more than 200 thousand. But it turned out that he falsified the income statement and did not even work at the time that was taken into account when calculating compensation. Zubier later admitted that he had forged documents due to poor financial situation.

The documentary is based on the fact that Hassan Zubier decides to tell the whole truth about himself to the employee of the Swedish news editor Yle Matilda Gullenberg. She was one of those who created the image of Zubier as a hero in the media, and after information about his crimes was revealed, she felt deceived.

In the first episode, Hassan tells Matilda the story of his life. In the second, Matilda, who does not want to be deceived a second time, checks the facts voiced by the man. The deeper she digs, the more the impression is that Hassan has invented a parallel reality for himself, because the truth is too hard. In the third episode, Hassan returns to Turku, where a lawsuit begins against him, and Matilda discovers new details about his childhood that he did not know himself.

The first episode of the film will be shown on August 16 on Yle Fem. On the same day, all episodes will be available on the Yle Areena portal.