Claim: A video shows police brutality towards women at a PTI protest against alleged election rigging outside the Sindh Assembly.

Fact: The video has nothing to do with the PTI. It was first posted in 2021 and shows the misconduct of police officers — who were later suspended — against three women who were accused of robbery in Swat.

On 24 February 2024, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) posted (archive) a video on its X (formerly Twitter) account claiming it shows police brutality against its women and supporters who were protesting outside the Sindh Assembly. The accompanying caption, which — includes the hashtag, “#فاتح_قیدی_عمران_خان [#VictoriousPrisonerImranKhan]” — is as follows:

“سندھ اسمبلی کے باہر احتجاج کرتی پرامن خواتین کو پولیس مرد اہلکاروں نے تھپڑ اور لاتیں مار کر گرفتار کر کے پولیس کی گاڑیوں میں دھکیل دیا۔
[Peaceful women protesting outside the Sindh Assembly were slapped and kicked by male police officers, arrested, and pushed into police vehicles.]”

“ابھی دھاندلی زدہ، جعلی حکومت آئی نہیں ہے تو فسطائیت ظلم و جبر کا یہ عالم ہے، کس نے ان بیشرم پولیس والوں کو شہریوں پر تشدد کرنے کا حکم دیا ہے؟
[This is the level of fascism, cruelty, and suppression when the rigged, fake government has not even assumed power. Who has ordered these shameless police officers to torture the citizens?]”

Political parties such as the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H), and the PTI staged a protest against alleged rigging in the elections outside the Sindh Assembly on 24 February.

The National Assembly of Pakistan convened (archive) its maiden session on 29 February 2024 despite the PTI claiming that the 2024 general elections were rigged. On 4 March, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif was elected (archive) the country’s prime minister after beating PTI-backed candidate, Omar Ayub Khan.

2024 elections

Polls in Pakistan were marred by allegations of rigging as results were declared (archive) “more than 60 hours after voting ended”, with PTI-backed independent candidates taking the lead over those who contested on the PML-N ticket.

Despite being jailed (archive) for a total of 31 years for corruption, leaking state secrets, and an un-Islamic marriage (archive), former prime minister Imran Khan declared victory from jail in a speech generated by artificial intelligence (AI), with 93 of the 264 seats secured by his independent candidates, according to the Reuters article cited above. The party of his main opponent and brother of the incumbent premier, PML-N Supremo Nawaz Sharif, got 75 seats, with the former, too, claiming that he won.

The PTI cried foul (archive) as the results of 18 seats “allegedly won by the party were ‘falsely changed’” and called upon its supporters to protest wherever they are in the world.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check observed that multiple X users — such as this, this, this, and this — pointed out in the comments that the video is old, fake or that it does not show the Sindh Police. When we reverse-searched keyframes from the viral video posted by the PTI’s Karachi chapter, we found posts from 30 December, 23 December, and 24 September 2023.

We also found that the PTI’s other X account, @InsafPK, also shared the post by the party’s Karachi chapter. Here, too, users — such as this, this, and this — pointed out that the video was “old”.

In instances where @InsafPK’s post was quoted, we found that three users — here, here, and here — pointed out that the clip was a few years old and showed an incident in Swat in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The third user also shared a link to a 3 February 2021 report by The Express Tribune, titled “Five K-P policemen booked for publicly beating up three arrested women.”

The Express Tribune report contains a link to an X post by @Islamabadies, which includes the same video and is captioned, “Which law allows a men with no legal authority can beat a lady arrested in theft? Footage from saidu sharif, #Swat. @KP_Police1.”

The X post by @Islamabadies is sourced from @IhteshamAfghan, who wrote, “Can PM @ImranKhanPTI & CM @IMMahmoodKhan can explain, which law allows a men with no legal authority can beat a lady arrested in theft? Footage from saidu sharif, Swat.”

Imran Khan and Mahmood Khan were tagged as they were the prime minister and KP’s chief minister, respectively, at the time of the incident. Both belong to the PTI.

A further search, using a combination of keywords, led us to a video on the Facebook page of Swat Police, which announced the suspension and filing of a case against the police officers involved in the incident. This came after District Police Officer (DPO) Dilawar Khan Bangash took notice and a first information report (FIR) was registered in the Saidu Sharif police station.

Two other outlets, Zama Swat News and Swat News, also reported on the incident, while Dawn News posted about the same on its X account.

In addition to this, Daily Shamal Swat, a local newspaper, posted a clip of the press conference held by DPO Bangash alongside Asif Bahadur, the additional superintendent of police (ASP) for Lower Swat, and deputy superintendent of police (DSP) for Saidu Circle, Ishaq Khan.

Virality

The X posts by @PTIKarachi_ and @InsafPK have been viewed more than 6,000 and 260,000 times, respectively.

Soch Fact Check found the video on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, and here. On YouTube, it was posted here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The video has nothing to do with the PTI. It was first posted in 2021 and shows misconduct of police officers — who were later suspended — against three women who were accused of robbery in Swat.


Background image in cover photo: PTI.KarachiOfficial


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

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2 months ago

[…] Also read: Video does not show police brutality against PTI’s women workers […]

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