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Video from Aurat March Islamabad misrepresented as PTI protest in Lahore

Clashes in Lahore and Islamabad came following a ban on public gatherings

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Claim: A video shows a group of police officers in Lahore in a verbal altercation with women belonging to the PTI, with one of the cops yelling, “Don’t touch me”, and another pushing a woman. The clip goes on to show police baton-charging people near a container and behind barbed wire at the scene.

Fact: The video is actually from Islamabad and shows an altercation between Aurat March protesters and the capital city’s police.

On 8 March 2023, Twitter user @JaveriaMAbasi posted a tweet (archive) with a 50-second video that shows a verbal altercation between some women and a police officer while his fellow cops baton-charge others at the scene.

The clip — which is filmed outdoors near a container and barbed wire — also shows one of the police officers pushing a woman away as media personnel film the squabble. The officer at the start repeatedly shouts, “Don’t touch me”, throughout the video.

The tweet is captioned as follows:

“I was thinking about what to write. Am speechless,my heart is trembling with fear,can’t believe that state can be so cruel with its own people.Cruelty has reached all limits.Innocent PTI worker has been brutally killed by police,many other got injured.This is Insane. #Fascist_PDM”

The tweet came after former prime minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) staged protests despite the Government of Punjab banning (archive) public gatherings. The ban — which also impacted the Aurat March, or Women’s March, in the provincial capital and which was condemned by Amnesty International as “blanket bans” — led to multiple party workers being arrested and one of them killed.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found that the video is not from Lahore nor related to the PTI but showed Islamabad Police officers arguing with participants and organisers of the Aurat March and blocking their path.

The video was shared by multiple people, organisations, and media outlets, including here (archive), here (archive), and here (archive), while the Aurat March’s Karachi chapter condemned the police action here (archive).

Virality

The tweet has been viewed by almost 5,000 people and was retweeted more than 80 times. Close to 1,600 people watched the video it contains.

The video was also retweeted by an account reportedly of Pakistani actress Laila Zuberi.

Conclusion: The video is actually from Islamabad and shows an altercation between Aurat March protesters and the capital city’s police. It has no relation to the PTI or Lahore.


Background image in cover photo: @Aurat_marchisb

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