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WikiLeaks did not release Imran Khan documentary on PTI founder’s sentencing day

Imran Khan sentenced to 10, 14 years in two separate cases

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Claim: WikiLeaks has released a documentary on PTI founder Imran Khan after he was sentenced to 10 years and 14 years in jail in two separate cases pertaining to leaking state secrets and corruption, respectively.

Fact: The documentary has nothing to do with Khan’s sentencing. It was originally aired in 2012.

On 1 February 2024, Soch Fact Check received a video on WhatsApp with the following claim:

“عمران خان کو سزا دینے پر ویکی لیکس نے 2012 سے لے کر آج تک خان کی اپنی قوم کیلئے کی جانے والی سٹرگل پر بنائی ڈاکومنٹری نشر کر دی۔ مین سٹریم میڈیا نہی دیکھائے گا اب آپکی زمہ داری ہے ہر جگہ پر پھلا دیں.
[On the sentencing of Imran Khan, WikiLeaks has released a documentary on Khan’s struggle for his nation since 2012. The mainstream media will not show it. Now it is your responsibility to spread it everywhere.]”

Soch Fact Check received the message two days after Khan was sentenced (archive) to 10 years in prison for “leaking state secrets”, a case in which he was accused of making public a “cypher,” or classified cable, sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the US last year that he claims (archive) that the document “was proof of a conspiracy by the Pakistani military and US government to topple his government in 2022 after he visited Moscow just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.

On 31 January 2024, Khan and his wife, Bushra Khan, popularly known as Bushra Bibi, were sentenced (archive) to 14 years each for “illegally selling state gifts”. The decision came just days ahead of the 2024 general elections in Pakistan, slated for 8 February.

The former PM has been incarcerated since 5 August 2023 and was consequently disqualified from contesting elections.

In the days leading up to the 2024 general elections in Pakistan, Soch Fact Check has observed an influx of false and misleading claims that may impact public opinion and voter behaviour.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check reverse-searched keyframes from the viral video and found that it was shared (archived) on 26 July 2018 on the YouTube channel Journeyman Pictures.

According to the description, the video is an episode of the 2012 TV series called, “The Julian Assange Show” — also known as “World Tomorrow” — that was originally aired on 19 June 2012.

Therefore, the documentary referred to in the WhatsApp message is actually more than a decade old, and was not released by WikiLeaks recently in light of Imran Khan’s sentencing.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the period from 30 January 2024 to 7 February using the search term “عمران خان ویکی لیکس قوم سٹرگل ڈاکومنٹری” and found over 1,600 interactions across more than 100 Facebook posts.

The videos posted here, here, here, and here received upwards of 4,400, 3,700, 1,200, and 1,000 views, respectively. The clip was also shared in groups here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The video also made its way to other social media platforms, including TikTok here and here, where it received more than 18,100 and 3,900 views, respectively. It was also posted here on X (formerly Twitter) and here on YouTube.

Conclusion: The documentary was not released recently and has nothing to do with Khan’s sentencing. It was originally aired in 2012.


Background image in cover photo: wikileaks


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

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