FACT CHECK: Do These Images Show Christians In Plastic Bags In Afghanistan?

Mecca Fowler | Contributor

Images shared on Facebook over 400 times purportedly show Christians suffocating in plastic bags in Afghanistan.

Verdict: False

The pictures actually show a political street performance art piece that took place in Colombia back in May.

Fact Check:

The claim about the images allegedly showing Christians put in plastic bags in Afghanistan started circulating after the Taliban took control of the country last month. Since then, members of religious minority groups in Afghanistan have expressed fear of being targeted by the Taliban, which has historically persecuted religious minority groups, according to NBC News.

In the pictures in the Facebook post, people with little clothing can be seen curled up in plastic bags on the ground. The caption reads in part, “Those are Christians who refuse to deny their faith in Christ in Afghanistan, they were tied in nylon to get suffocated till they die.” (RELATED: Did The Taliban Sentence 229 Christian Missionaries To Death?)

Check Your Fact was able to trace the photos, which actually depict a political street performance art piece, back to a Facebook Live video posted by Colombian radio station Todo Bajo Cero on May 26. The caption, roughly translated from Spanish to English, reads, “Performance ‘Packaged,’ Poblado Park, May 26 2021. A tribute to the people who have been found dead in recent days, drowned, in pieces and in bags. In honor of all those who left their homes to fight for their rights and could not return home.” Poblado Park is located in Medellin, Colombia.

In Todo Bajo Cero’s video, the same people in plastic bags lie on the ground while onlookers surround them. The building with the cylindrical structure on its roof that can be seen in the background at the four-minute mark can also be seen in a Google Maps street view near Medellin’s Poblado Park, confirming that it was filmed in Colombia.

ADN Medellin reported on the performance honoring protesters who had gone missing in its May 27 print edition, according to the fact-checking website ColombiaCheck. Hundreds of people in Colombia have disappeared amid anti-government protests that started in April, The Washington Post reported.

Mecca Fowler

Contributor

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