Social media has witnessed several misinformation related to the unrest in Afghanistan since August. Amidst this an image showing a man hanging from a pole with a crying child standing by his side is circulating on social media. The social media users claim that the image shows a recent incident from Afghanistan showing the atrocities carried out by the Taliban. It claims to show that the Taliban killed a man in front of his son by hanging him to a pole. There have been several reports of the atrocities carried out by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The caption of the post mentioned that “Taliban killed a man in front of his son, this is Afghanistan under Taliban regime, where’s human rights? Where are you United Nations?”
(Note: The image has been blurred due to the distressing content)
We started our investigation by running a reverse image search on Google which led us to the same image published by a Fox News reporter Lara Logan on 30th September 2021. The caption of the image mentions “Daily reminder of what our leaders have done in all of our names. What they want all of us to forget – and Afghans are still enduring. Do not let them legitimize terror as a form of governing,”
Note: Distressing Content
The results also led us to a Facebook post by Saraish Radio who posted the same image on March 2018. According to the information mentioned in the caption, the incident took place in Takhar, Afghanistan. The man attempted to commit suicide but later was saved by people. The man was identified as Shah Mahmood who was a resident of Talaqan City. The post does not mention anything about the Taliban. It states that he tried committing suicide due to land usurping and his failure to get a legal remedy against it.
In a video published by the official account of Azadi Radio we can see that the man identified as Shah Mahmood can be seen being rescued by the local people after he attempted suicide. He is said to be a resident of Talaqan city in Takhar province of Afghanistan. This video has been published on March 2018. We can see the localites helping Mahmood to take off the rope around his neck. We can also spot the child seen in the image.
According to a news report published by BBC Persian on April 2018 which stated that the man from Takhar in Afghanistan identified as Shah Mahmood tried committing suicide due to the “negligence” of the government. He tried attempting suicide at the provincial administration building in Takhar. He complained that the locals had usurped his land and he was deprived justice by the negligence of Takhar government officials.
However, we found posts on social media claiming that the Taliban hanged 4 bodies in the Herat city in Afghanistan but this incident has no relation with the viral image on social media.
Fact Crescendo found that the claim made along with the above-mentioned image is False. The image going viral on social media does not show atrocities carried out by the Taliban. The incident dates back to 2018 showing Takhar province in Afghanistan where a man named Shah Mahmood tried attempting suicide. The incident is not related to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Title:Image of a man attempting suicide in 2018 viral as Taliban’s atrocities in present day AfghanistanFact Check By: Aavya Ray