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News bulletin claiming rape of Khadijah Shah confirmed is doctored

Soch Fact Check compared the viral visual with the actual bulletin


Claim: Geo News reported in one of their news bulletins that hospital sources have confirmed Khadijah Shah was sexually assaulted in prison.

Fact: The visual is manipulated and the editor of Geo News’ Urdu website has confirmed that it is a doctored image.

On 28 May 2023, Facebook user ‘Imtiaz Hussain Pti’ posted two pictures (archive), one showing fashion designer Khadijah Shah and the other a news card allegedly from a Geo News bulletin, with the following text:

“خدیجہ شاہ کی جنسی زیادتی کی تصدیق۔ ہسپتال زرائع
[Sexual abuse of Khadija Shah has been confirmed, hospital sources say]”

A staunch supporter of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is led by former prime minister Imran Khan, Khadijah Shah is the daughter of former finance minister Salman Shah and the granddaughter of former Pakistan Army Chief Gen (r) Asif Nawaz Janjua.

Shah is accused of masterminding (archive) the attack on Jinnah House — the residence of the Lahore Corps Commander — when mobs vandalised military properties amid protests that erupted over the arrest of Imran Khan.

In addition, her husband and other members of the family were also detained “as part of a sweeping crackdown that has led to thousands of arrests, with many expected to be tried in military rather than civilian court”, Al Jazeera reported (archive).

She was allegedly in hiding but was then reportedly (archive) taken into custody after she turned herself into the Punjab Police. Police claimed they conducted numerous raids to catch the PTI supporter, one of the several against whom the charges include terrorism, according to a report (archive).

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check reverse-searched the image in question but only found its reposts on social media platforms. 

We also noticed some very obvious signs of image manipulation that we have highlighted in the graphic below:

Soch Fact Check also reached out to the editor of Geo News’ Urdu website, Manzar Elahi, to ask about the authenticity of the visual.

“Yes, I can confirm that it’s a doctored image,” Elahi said.

Moreover, among the latest news reports on Geo News Urdu website is this one (archive) where Khadijah Shah allegedly fled her hideout just before a raid, as well as another (archive) about her reportedly falling sick and not being allowed to have food from her home.

Geo News also posted a bulletin on the verified Twitter and Facebook accounts of its Urdu website, as well as YouTube channel here (archive), here (archive) and here (archive), respectively, titled “خدیجہ شاہ کی سینٹرل جیل کوٹ لکھپت میں طبعیت خراب ہو گئی ، جیل ذرائع [Khadijah Shah’s condition deteriorates in Central Jail, Kot Lakhpat, jail sources say].”

No other notable media outlet published any report quoting hospital sources as confirming Khadijah Shah being subjected to sexual assault.


Soch Fact Check found the image shared here (archive) by PTI OFFICIAL UK, or Twitter user @zeeshan141176, in the comments of a tweet by Islamabad Capital Territory Police warning people about “a systematic campaign to defame the [state] departments”.

Another account, @N_Ri_da, also posted the visual here (archive), with the tweet being viewed more than 10,000 times. It was captioned as follows:

“کل کی پریس کانفرس کے بعد خدیجہ کی طبعیت خراب ہوگئی اور ہسپتال لایا گیا۔ اب ہسپتال زرائع کا کہنا ہے کہ خدیجہ کے ساتھ ریپ ہوا ہے اللّٰہ پاک ان سب کی نسلوں میں بھی بیٹیاں پیدا کرنا اور سبق لازمی دینا
[After yesterday’s press conference, the condition of Khadijah [Shah] worsened and she was taken to the hospital. Now, sources at the hospital say Khadijah has been raped. May Allah give them daughters in their future generations and ensure they are taught their lesson.]”

The aforementioned tweet is in reference to a 28 May 2023 press conference by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, who had said “fiendish designs” (archive) were uncovered by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies when they intercepted a conversation.

These “disturbing plots and planned actions [included] a raid on the PTI leader’s house and a staged rape [with the] objective [to] falsely implicate law enforcement institutions in the crime, aiming to internationalise the issue”, Sanaullah wrote (archive) on Twitter, around the same time he had called the press conference.

Some of the posts we found on Facebook include this, this, this, this, and this one. We also came across one user — Rao Khan — who spammed more than a dozen groups with the same image; some of these posts can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

Soch Fact Check found the image used in videos as well, such as here and here on YouTube and here and here on TikTok.

Conclusion: The visual is manipulated and the editor of Geo News’ Urdu website has confirmed that it is a doctored image.

Background image in cover photo: @khadijahshah

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