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Old picture of Imran Khan doctored to show former PM in jail

Original image was taken during 2011 sit-in organised by Imran Khan


Claim: A picture shows Imran Khan sleeping on the floor of a jail cell.

Fact: The image was taken during the 2011 sit-in organised by Imran Khan against drone strikes in Pakistan. It has been doctored to include the prison bars.

On 7 August 2023, the Facebook page ‘Peshawar Zalmi Confessions’ posted a picture (archive) claiming to show Imran Khan — the former prime minister and chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — sleeping in a prison cell, where he remains jailed over corruption charges.

The post is accompanied by the following caption:

“3 کینسر ہسپتال بنائے دو ٹاپ لیول کے یونیورسٹیز بنائیں ،غریبوں کیلیے پناہ گاہیں بنائیں ، قوم کو صحت کارڈ دیا،اسلامو فوبیا پر آواز اٹھائی ،کشمیرمیں انڈیا کے مظالم کو پردہ چاک کیا،پاکستان لوٹنے والے چوروں کو بینقاب کیا۔ آج اسے یہ صلہ دیا گیا 💔 نا اس کے سوئس اکاؤنٹس ہیں نا اس کے یورپ میں اپارٹمنٹس ہیں ۔۔ جو کچھ کرکٹ کی کمائی تھی اٹھا کے اپنے وطن پاکستان لے آیا۔۔ یہی صلہ دیتے ہیں ہم اپنے محسنوں کو ؟؟ افسوس صد افسوس⁦✍️⁩
[[He] built three cancer hospitals, built two top-level universities, built shelters for the poor, gave health cards to the nation, raised voice on Islamophobia, exposed India’s atrocities in Kashmir, exposed the thieves who looted Pakistan. This is how has been repaid today 💔 Neither does he have Swiss accounts nor any apartments in Europe. He took whatever he had earned from cricket and brought it to his homeland, Pakistan. Is this the reward we give to our benefactors? Saddening!”]

A trial court in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, declared Khan guilty in the Toshakhana case and gave him a three-year jail sentence, following which he has been in prison.

The judge had said in a short order cited here (archive) that the former premier hid “the benefits he accrued from the national exchequer wilfully and intentionally” and “cheated while providing information of gifts he obtained from Toshakhana, which later proved to be false and inaccurate” during his tenure from 2018 to 2022.

Fact or Fiction?

A reverse image search revealed the image was posted on X, formerly Twitter, in July 2012.

User @Aimalkhankakar posted (archive) the image on 14 July 2012, writing, “#ImranKhan in Peshawar Dharna Against Drone Attacks. Can any leader sleep on container w/o security like this? #PTI”.

The image in the post, which shows Khan sleeping on a mattress during a dharna, or sit-in, has the following text superimposed on it: “By Sadat Butt 24 April 2011 3:00 AM.”

The PTI chief had led a sit-in against drone attacks in the country, warning (archive) that his party would “block all NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organisation] supply routes across Pakistan” should the alliance fail to stop the drone strike within 30 days.


Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis from 1 August 2023 to 19 September using the search term, “نا اس کے سوئس اکاؤنٹس ہیں نا اس کے یورپ میں اپارٹمنٹس ہیں جو کچھ کرکٹ کی کمائی تھی اٹھا کے اپنے وطن پاکستان لے آیا یہی صلہ دیتے ہیں ہم اپنے محسنوں کو”.

We found 393 posts on Facebook that gained 36,718 interactions. Some of these posts, with more than 500 shares, can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The doctored image was posted here, here, here, here, and here on X.

Conclusion: The image has been doctored to include the prison bars. The original image was actually taken during the 2011 sit-in organised by Imran Khan against drone strikes in Pakistan.

Background image in cover photo: @PTIOfficial

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1 month ago

[…] This is not the first time a false claim has been made about Imran Khan’s time in jail. Soch Fact Check has previously debunked the claim about a doctored image showing Khan sleeping in jail. […]

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