FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Pakistani Police Torturing A Protester?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows law enforcement in Pakistan’s Punjab province torturing a protester.

Verdict: False

The video, which is more than a year old, shows police officers disarming a man with a blade, according to the Punjab Police.

Fact Check:

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted April 10 following a vote of no-confidence, according to BBC News. Khan, who serves as the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party chairman, called for a march to Islamabad May 25 to reject the country’s new “imported government,” according to The Express Tribune.

The Facebook video shows two uniformed police officers struggling with a man, purportedly a PTI supporter, on a crowded street. One of the officers appears to rip something from the man’s hand as the other holds the suspect.

“Whatch (sic) the clip, Punjab Police pulling nails of PTI protester,” reads the video’s caption. “I belive (sic) we reached near to Palestine or Occupied Kashmir.” (RELATED: Did Indian Politician Rahul Gandhi Say That Pakistan Can Be ‘Bought’ For Less Than $1 Billion?)

The video predates the current protests and does not feature a person having his nails removed. The Punjab Police replied to an April 2021 tweet featuring the video and clarified the officers were trying to seize a blade from a person who was accused of robbery and drug trafficking.

“In this video, police officers are trying to take a blade from the accused,” the tweet reads in part. “Drugs were also recovered from the accused.” Check Your Fact found no credible news reports refuting the explanation from the Punjab Police.

This is not the first time misinformation has arisen from the ongoing political upheaval in Pakistan. Check Your Fact previously debunked a viral post that claimed the New York Herald published a political cartoon mocking Pakistan for deposing Khan.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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