Claim: The World Animal Protection (WAP) condemned the arrest of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan’s aide, Dr Shahbaz Gill, in a Twitter post.

Fact: WAP has not released any statement regarding the arrest of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan’s aide, Dr Shahbaz Gill.

On 9 August 2022, Facebook user ‘Adeel Ali Khanposted the screenshot of a tweet from the World Animal Protection which reads as follows:

WAP strongly condemns the arrest of Shahbaz Gill in the Capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad. This act is a clear violation of the International Animal Protection Laws and Regulations. We demand his safe recovery to zoo or any other favorable habitat.

Adeel Ali Khan wrote the following caption in his post and added the hashtag, “#FitnaGillArrested,” to it.

“حقوقِ حیوانات کی تنظیمیں شہباز گل کی گرفتاری پر غم و غصے کا شکار۔ انہیں فی الفور رہا کرکہ کسی چڑیا گھر میں منتقل کرنے کا مطالبہ ! [Animal rights organisations are outraged over the arrest of Shahbaz Gill [and] have demanded he be released immediately and moved to a zoo!]”

Previously known as The World Society for the Protection of Animals, the World Animal Protection is an international non-profit organisation that works on animal rights.

Fact or Fiction?

In an email, the WAP’s Press Officer told Soch Fact Check, “This is a fake image that has been edited to look as if it has come from one of our accounts but I can assure you it has not.”

Soch Fact Check also used relevant keywords and the WAP’s Twitter handle, @MoveTheWorld, in the Twitter-specific format to search for any tweet related to the condemnation, “Shahbaz Gill”, “arrest”, “Capital city”, “Pakistan”, and “Islamabad”. Only two tweets turned up using “Pakistan” and “arrest” that are from 2018 and 2013, respectively, and available here and here. The former is about the rehoming of 10 bears and the latter about the arrest of alleged poachers for poisoning elephants in Zimbabwe.

We also searched WAP’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram as well but could not find any such statement of condemnation.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 1-19 August 2022 period using the following search terms:

  • “حیوانات شہباز گل گرفتاری فی الفور رہا چڑیا گھر”
  • “shahbaz gill world animal protection”
  • “WAP strongly condemns the arrest of Shahbaz Gill in the Capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad. This act is a clear violation of the International Animal Protection Laws and Regulations. We demand his safe recovery to zoo or any other favorable habitat.”

The first search term turned up 10 posts on Facebook that gained 884 interactions, whereas the second search term showed 1,465 interactions across a dozen Facebook posts. The third search term, on the other hand, turned up 15 Facebook posts, which gained 1,522 interactions.

On Facebook, the image has been shared here, here, here, here, and here. On Twitter, it was posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: There has been no statement or condemnation of the arrest of Dr Shahbaz Gill from the WAP.

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