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Video clips of Punjab police torturing women are not from recent PTI arrests

Old videos from Kasur 2021 and Karachi 2022 are shared with misleading claim

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Claim: Social media videos claim to show the police torturing  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters who were involved in the 9 May 2023 clashes.

Fact: These particular videos are old and not related to the unrest after 9 May. The two different video clips are from 2021 and 2022 respectively.

On 9 May 2023, demonstrations against the former PM’s arrest left at least eight people dead, 1,400 detained, and 145 police officers wounded, according to a report (archive) that cited authorities.

Pakistan Rangers had taken the cricketer-turned-politician into custody from the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) premises on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) orders as he was set to appear in a hearing for the Al-Qadir Trust case.

Imran Khan was later released when the Supreme Court of Pakistan intervened, a 14 May report (archive) said.

It is pertinent to note here that the Pakistan Army announced it intended to try people involved in vandalising military installations and equipment during the protests against the former PM’s arrest under different laws, including The Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and The Official Secrets Act, 1923.

The federal government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, following a 16 May 2023 meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), endorsed the Pakistan Army’s decision, which was issued through its media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a day earlier.

Fact or Fiction?

On 16 May 2023, a video shared on Twitter by the account name SalSam, claimed that it shows women in the video being tortured and abused at the hands of the Punjab Police in Pakistan.

The video caption reads, “Punjab Police (backed by corrupt retired Army Chief, “Asim Munir”) put hands on me, took my clothes off, & had beaten me in front of everyone,” narrated by a victim who suffered state brutality. Crime: To support democracy, & ask for free & fair election #PakistanUnderFascism”

The viral video is composed of two clips. The first clip features a female being assaulted by a police officer, while the second shows a woman recounting her alleged mistreatment by Punjab Police.

Soch Fact Check used reverse image tools to find a YouTube video featuring the same clip that was published on 6 April 2021. The YouTuber in the video claims that the incident was reported in the Kundiyan area of Kasur district, where former sub-inspector Jamil Khan tortured a woman. The same video was also reported on different YouTube channels here and here.

Furthermore, a keyword search on Google showed a Dawn news report from 7 April 2021. The news report says that Khudian police lodged a criminal case against its ex-sub-inspector and put him behind bars for allegedly manhandling a woman and abuse of power during a raid at a seminary at Ghousia Sabri Colony.

It further reads that police raided after receiving a complaint on helpline 15. However, SI Jamil Khan manhandled a woman during the raid and the video went viral on social media. Later, DPO Imran Kishwar suspended him and ordered an inquiry.

The same video was shared on Twitter (now X), where Punjab Police @OfficialDPRPP responded that the police officer was arrested and an inquiry had been launched.

The second clip in the viral claim is a video of a woman complaining about the treatment she received at the hands of Punjab police. However, the woman in the video is not a PTI member and was arrested recently. Soch Fact Check previously debunked the same video in March 2022 when it was falsely shared as a story of a grieving mother after her daughter’s death.

The video is from February 2022, when a woman was arrested on charges of murdering her husband in Karachi and kept at Liaquatabad women’s police station. After her arrest, she reported that she was harassed by the investigating officer (the SHO). Geo News reported on the accusation levelled by Iaaren Jannat against the investigating officer. The news was also shared by a local media reporter on Facebook.

There are, however, reports of the alleged torture and abuse of women activists and supporters of PTI. But these clips are not related to any of those incidents.

Virality

The false clip on Twitter received 777k views, 10,000 retweets, and 10,400 likes. The archived version can be seen here, here, here, and here on Facebook.

Conclusion: The viral video clips of Punjab police torturing women are not from recent arrests of PTI members. The videos are old, from when Khan was in power.

 

 

To submit an appeal on our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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