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Old video of police beating women wrongly linked to the Ramadan aid program in Pakistan’s Punjab province

Posts criticizing a meal during Ramadan scheme in Pakistan’s Punjab province repeatedly shared a video in March 2024 with the false claim that it showed a police officer beating women queuing for wheat flour. However, the clip had been circulating online since June 2019 in reports of an officer forcibly trying to remove women from their shops near a court in Punjab.

Warning: Story includes clip that shows police hitting women

The clamp – which showed a police officer punching the back of a woman’s head and punching another woman – was shared on Facebook on March 19, 2024 by Pakistani lawmaker Junaid Akbar Khan. It was viewed more than 14,000 times.

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Khan is a member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party of imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In the post, the lawmaker praised a newly launched health insurance program in his province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, while falsely claiming that the video showed a police officer in Punjab beating a woman who tried to get food under the province’s Ramadan food distribution program (archived links here and here).

The northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is governed by candidates linked to PTI, while Punjab is ruled by the party’s bitter rival: the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The caption in Urdu for the clip read: “While the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provides free medical treatment up to 10 million rupees with dignity for the people, women in Punjab are humiliated and beaten for a 10 kilogram bag of wheat flour. May Allah humiliate those who destroyed my country and humiliated the nation.”

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<span>A screenshot taken on March 28, 2024 of the fake Facebook post.</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/rlfqDyo6DUfWUpcP2OXmiA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTQwNw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/6cfcdfd1ae5beed58063 a881ee88f8ae”/><span><button class=

A screenshot taken on March 28, 2024 of the fake Facebook post.

About one million families in Punjab have received food parcels under the province’s Ramadan food distribution programme. The package contained wheat flour, rice, sugar, lentils, dates, cooking oil, dates and other goods, according to state media (archived link).

The video was also shared alongside a similar false claim here, here and here on Facebook and here, here and here on social media platform

Comments on the posts showed that people were being misled about the video.

‘This is the latest crime PML-N government,” wrote a Facebook user.

“Damn these police,” said another.

Old attack video

However, there were no official reports of a police officer recently beating women queuing for wheat flour in Punjab.

A Google reverse image search using a keyframe from the video found that it matches part of a longer clip posted to YouTube on June 23, 2019 – years before this year’s Ramadan food distribution program started (archived link) .

The video falsely shared online matches from the six seconds to the 24 seconds of the longer YouTube clip titled: “Punjab Police Torture On Women Multan Kacheri [Court].”

The incident was also rreported here in a report in Urdu from Pakistani newspaper Daily Jang dated June 27, 2019 (archived link).

The report’s headline translates into English as: “The police officer who used violence against women Court of the District was called in.” According to the report, the police officer “tortured” and used violence against the women in an attempt to remove them from their storeswhich were located near the court in Multan.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video incorrectly shared as recent (left) and the YouTube clip (right):

<span>A screenshot comparison of keyframes from the video in the misleading messages (left) and the YouTube video (right).</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/xhjDm6Xkf0lyRKxQ2UqrTA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTI1NQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/4af160c6bff4db50 de5fed236d988d46″/><span><button class=

A screenshot comparison of keyframes from the video in the misleading messages (left) and the YouTube video (right).

AFP previously debunked reports sharing the same clip in 2019, alongside a false claim that Indian soldiers tortured women in Kashmir (archived link).

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