FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show An Afghan Woman Chained By A Taliban Fighter?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows an Afghan woman chained by a Taliban fighter.

Verdict: False

The image does not show a woman chained by a member of the Taliban. It shows part of a 2014 street performance in London, England, about the Islamic State and sex slavery.

Fact Check:

Having seized Kabul, provincial capitals and other cities, the Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press. The militant group said it would respect women’s rights within the confines of Islamic religious law, but it has historically severely restricted them, CBS News reported.

A Facebook post claims to show an Afghan woman in chains under the Taliban’s rule, with the caption reading, “Of course women are free under the Taliban. See, she has ALL the freedom to walk as far as the chain would allow her to.”

Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact discovered that the picture appears to come from a 2014 street performance about ISIS selling women into sex slavery. Filmmaker Ari Murad posted a video of the demonstration, which took place in London, on Facebook, with text in the video disclaiming that it was “intended to shock audiences in to seeing ISIS and their brutality.”

The man in the photo can be seen at several points during the video Murad posted. He is also visible in a photo published in a 2014 Newsweek article about the demonstration. (RELATED: No, This Image Of Afghan Women Chained Together Is Not Real)

A group of members of the Kurdish diaspora organized the performance, according to BBC News. One of the organizers told Newsweek that they wanted to incite an “aggravated reaction” from people who watched the performance and to show “this could take place in London.”

The Islamic State’s actions against the Yazidi religious minority group were deemed a genocide by the U.S. in 2016 and, according to the Associated Press, by a team of United Nations experts in 2021. Many Yazidi women were held captive and forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State during the group’s occupation of Iraq’s Mount Sinjar, the ancestral homeland of the Yazidis, The New York Times reported in 2016.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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