PM Imran Khan did not fall from an elevator or suffer spinal cord fracture

Old video of Khan’s injury from a fall during 2013 election campaign being republished as new

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Claim: A video is being circulated with the claim that Prime Minister Imran Khan has suffered a serious injury — possibly a spinal cord fracture — following a fall from an elevator. According to the claims, Khan has been hospitalized and will undergo an operation.

Fact: Khan has not been recently injured; the video is from an incident prior to the 2013 general elections when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson was campaigning in Lahore.

On 14 December 2021, Facebook page ‘Dunya News’ posted a video depicting Khan on a hospital bed along with the claim that the prime minister had reportedly been seriously injured and was admitted to the hospital for surgery.

The full caption accompanying the clip was as follows:

“وزیر اعظم عمران خان لفٹ سے گر کر بری طرح زخمی۔ ریڑھ کی ہڈی ٹوٹنے کا امکان، آپریشن کے لئے ہسپتال میں داخل”

[Prime Minister Imran Khan has fallen from an elevator and has been seriously injured, possibly sustaining a spinal cord fracture but has been hospitalized for an operation]

The video showed Khan on a hospital bed, with a doctor tending to him, as the cricketer-turned-politician made an impassioned comment during an interview with a TV channel, imploring the public to vote for change.

A total of 10 Facebook pages — including ‘SK News,’ ‘Noora Ahsas,’ ‘ایک عاشق,’ ‘MS world,’ ‘Wajid koko Saleem afridi,’ ‘All Pak News,’ ‘Gohar khan,’ ‘KpK Khyber news پشتون خیبر نیوز,’ ‘Ajmalkhan Voice اجمل خان وائس,’ and ‘Sahar News سحرنیوز’ — posted the video, in addition to ‘Dunya News’.

‘Dunya News’ ran an ‘Exclusive’ news card during its reporting on the alleged incident — as is visible in the screenshot on the right in the visual above — and a banner stating, ‘ZemTV.com – Pakistan’s largest video news web portal’ was superimposed on the screen.

In just a few days, the video garnered more than 11 million views, over 444,000 reactions, upwards of 39,000 comments, and close to 157,000 shares.

According to CrowdTangle, in the past seven days, the search phrase “وزیر اعظم عمران خان لفٹ سے گر کر بری طرح زخمی۔ ریڑھ کی ہڈی ٹوٹنے کا امکان، آپریشن کے لئے ہسپتال میں داخل” recorded 6,729 interactions across 238 posts, while the search phrase “عمران خان لفٹ ریڑھ کی ہڈی” recorded 6,872 interactions across 313 posts. The clip, however, was nowhere to be found on Instagram or Twitter.

Soch Fact Check found the posts sharing the clip to be misleading as the video dates back to 2013 when Khan fell from an approximately 15-feet-high platform during an election campaign rally in 2013. The news was reported widely at that time and was broadcast by international media outlets as well.

The original reporting of the incident can be found on the YouTube channels of various channels, including euronews, Al Jazeera English, ABP News, and The Telegraph, among others.

Soch Fact Check also ascertained that the page that posted the video, ‘Dunya News’, is different from the one managed by the official Dunya News TV channel. The latter’s authenticity comes from the fact that it is verified by Facebook and has a badge next to the page name.

The copy-cat page has close to 74,940 followers, while the verified page of Dunya News has 11 million. The former has also created a YouTube account called ‘Dunya News urdu,’ where they posted a video of Khan from the hospital bed.

The imposter, it appears, also went live on their page on 25 December, revealing their identity.

Conclusion: An old video of Imran Khan speaking from a hospital bed after falling from the stage during a 2013 election campaign rally in Lahore has been reshared on Facebook along with the false claim that Imran Khan has been recently again injured and has likely sustained a spinal cord fracture.

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